£3 million ‘aspiration fund’ set up by government to help more athletes reach Olympics
The British government has confirmed that it has launched a £3 million “aspiration fund” designed to help athletes from underfunded sports reach the Olympics.
Sports that do not receive elite funding from UK Sport will be eligible to apply for up to £500,000 under the new government scheme.
Olympic sports mentioned include badminton, basketball, surfing, table-tennis, skateboarding, handball and baseball/softball, as well as Paralympic sports such as wheelchair rugby and goal ball.
“The Aspiration Fund will give more sports the chance to inspire the nation and shine at Tokyo 2020 and beyond. This £3 million bridges a gap between grassroots and elite funding, and will help sports grow and develop future champions,” said Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society.
“UK Sport investment has transformed Britain into an Olympic and Paralympic powerhouse. But there are sports, not on UK Sport’s world class programme, that do a huge amount of good in communities that we can help on their path to the podium.”
Liz Nicholl, CEO of UK Sport added “This new Aspiration Fund is a fantastic opportunity for some sports to get on track for the Tokyo Games.
“Many of the sports we are currently unable to support, while further away from reaching the podium, have great potential not only to inspire through their performances on the field of play but also to have a genuine social impact in communities across the UK.
“We’d like to thank the Government for their continued support for UK Sport’s mission to inspire the nation through Olympic and Paralympic success.”
The funding will run until the end of the Tokyo 2020 cycle.