Olympic sports ‘positive’ after meeting

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Dame Katherine Grainger ‘not surprised’ by 11 sports opposing UK Sport funding

Eleven Olympic and Paralympic sports ‘thrown under the bus’ in funding cuts last year have had a ‘positive’ meeting with UK Sport chair Katherine Grainger.

It follows a campaign they launched in June to challenge UK Sport’s ‘no compromise’ approach to funding.

They would like to see a “tiered support structure” that would guarantee every Olympic and Paralympic sport a base-level of funding.

“I firmly believe that every single sport does matter,” Grainger said.

Five-time Olympic medallist Grainger said each of the sports will have the chance to present a case for investment during UK Sport’s annual review. This process will begin in the coming months.

We’ve been thrown under a bus – Badminton England chief executive

Badminton England chief executive Adrian Christie added that it was a “very encouraging start” to the dialogue.

“We are delighted to have opened the dialogue with Dame Katherine Grainger and were very appreciative of the time she gave us,” Christie said.

“The meeting gave her the opportunity to learn the various positions of all sports and she showed great empathy to the challenges we face.”

Badminton was the only one of the 11 sports who UK Sport believe do have a credible medal chance for Tokyo 2020, however, they decided not to invest in order to focus funding on those with “greater medal prospects”.

“I would like to thank the sports for coming to meet with me today,” Grainger said.

“We had a useful, positive and in-depth discussion around funding concerns. All the sports in attendance were given the opportunity to have their say.

“It was important for us listen to the concerns raised. We have committed to giving serious consideration to all of the issues raised by the 11 sports and to maintaining an open and ongoing dialogue.

The sports involved are archery, badminton, baseball/softball, basketball, fencing, handball, volleyball, weightlifting, wrestling, wheelchair rugby and table tennis.

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