UK Sport is to pump up to £2.4m into six Olympic and two Paralympic sports to help improve athletes’ chances of representing their country.
Handball, volleyball, water polo, wrestling, softball, artistic swimming, sitting volleyball and goalball will all benefit from the newly-launched National Squads Support Fund.
It is expected to have an impact on over 100 athletes who would otherwise not receive support and offer a crucial contribution towards helping them achieve their ambition of attending major international championships and access other events that form the critical path to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
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“The National Squads Support Fund is a key part of our new investment approach and demonstrates our commitment to a wider group of sports and athletes in our Olympic and Paralympic high-performance community,” UK Sport chief executive Sally Munday said.
“We are investing in a longer-term, holistic view of success, powering a broader range of sports, champions and medallists, built on the highest standards of integrity and partnership.
“This is an important contribution for the athletes and sports involved, and we are looking forward to working with these eight sports and watching their progress as a result.”
The number of sports set to receive Government and National Lottery funding is now 51.
The National Squads Support Fund is available to summer Olympic and Paralympic sports that did not receive World Class Programme or Progression funding as part of the December investment process through to Paris 2024 and beyond.
“This funding is a significant moment for our sport… and is absolutely crucial in securing our sport at the elite level, providing the pathway and platform for our athletes, coaches and staff to represent Great Britain at the highest level,” British Handball chairman Paul Bray said.
Richard Callicott, president of the British Volleyball Federation, praised UK Sport for “having the vision to recognise the value of helping unfunded sports on the first steps to future success”.
British Wrestling chief executive Craig Anthony added: “Wrestling is an incredibly diverse sport and this funding will help us in our mission to support wrestlers from all backgrounds to achieve their potential.”
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