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Sunday 23 September 2018
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06 Feb 2018
'If we could start again…' Grainger and Grant reimagine sport funding system

Two leading authorities from the world of sport have had their say on the state of play in the UK, by suggesting a rethink of the funding system, from grassroots to elite level.

Chair of UK Sport Katherine Grainger admitted the current system is “challenging” and Sported CEO Chris Grant said there is a “huge opportunity” to create a more joined-up system.

Olympian Grainger, who took over as chair last year, told an audience of sports governing bodies, clubs and charities: “The funding models that are currently set up are quite challenging, between Sport England and UK Sport, and where the high-performance chart stops and where there are natural gaps.

“All sports have different structures and different pathways of how athletes come into their sport, whether it’s university-fed, club-fed or whether it’s from a young age.

“I slightly naively thought there must be some way to clarify all these pathways from grassroots stuff to high-performance sport so there’s a more natural flow, but it’s so much more complex than that.

“Ideally, if you were starting from scratch, you would say, ‘This is all sports and these are the ones that can go up to this level’. It’s just not that way at the moment; it’s much more fractured, so there’s not an obvious process – I think everyone finds that challenging, at all levels of sport.”

Grainger was responding to a question from CIMSPA chair Marc Woods, the Paralympic gold medallist and BBC commentator, during the Fit for the Future Convention hosted at Loughborough University by the Sport and Recreation Alliance.

Woods asked: “Will we reach a point where we’re funding sport looking at that holistic picture rather than ‘let’s fund medal success’ and ‘let’s fund grassroots’? Do we look at how sports deliver the whole piece and fund them that way?”

Grainger said: “There’s a massive challenge: how could you align, in an ideal world, all sports so there’s a real structure so as many people get involved as possible?

“We don’t want or need everyone to get into sport purely to be successful at the top, but the ones that do want to progress need an obvious pathway to go through.”

The message was reinforced by Grant, CEO of community sport charity Sported, who said: “It’s a huge opportunity – the more joined-up and rational we can get.

“If you’re starting from scratch, the thing I’d put in at the bottom, from a Sport England but also an education point of view, is physical literacy so you do that first and get the whole country able to do the basic stuff, based on whatever [skills] they’ve got.

“Then at certain points, people may be identified about having a particular aptitude and then you’d have a rational, joined-up system.

“The problem at the moment is that the funding system and how it’s set up tends to induce competition to make sports feel they’re competing with each other for resources and athletes.

“It would be lovely if we can move towards something that felt like one system.”

The panellists were speaking shortly after the release of sport minister Tracey Crouch’s latest Sporting Future report, which highlighted £530m ($737.7m, €597.3m) of investment by Sport England in grassroots projects.


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19 Sep 2018
Edgbaston to increase capacity for Ashes test and World Cup
Edgbaston Stadium is increasing its capacity ahead of a bumper year of international cricket in 2019, when the venue will host an Ashes test as well as matches during the ICC Cricket World Cup.
18 Sep 2018
Tokyo preparing for 'transformative' Olympic Games
The organising committee for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has pledged to use the 'power of sport to change the world', when it hosts the event in two years' time.
13 Sep 2018
Global Wellness Institute to release in-depth analysis on global wellness economy
The Global Wellness Institute will release an in-depth update of its Global Wellness Economy Monitor at this year’s Global Wellness Summit, taking place at Technogym Village, Cesena, Italy, 6-8 October.
13 Sep 2018
Freedom of movement to lead agenda at ETOA European Tourism Summit
This year's European Tourism Summit, which is being held in Lucerne next month, will focus on the threats on freedom of movement and other key issues facing the European tourism sector.
11 Sep 2018
Rem Koolhaas to deliver keynote at World Architecture Festival
Dutch architect and founder of Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) Rem Koolhaas will deliver the closing keynote speech at the 2018 World Architecture Festival (WAF).
06 Sep 2018
Irene and Rocco Forte to discuss intergenerational collaboration at GWS
International hotelier Sir Rocco Forte and his daughter, Irene Forte, will share insights into how intergenerational collaboration has helped the award-winning hospitality company embrace generations of guests, including the coveted millennials, during the Global Wellness Summit next month in Italy.
03 Sep 2018
Indonesia throws its hat in 2032 Olympic bid ring
Indonesian president Joko Widodo has revealed the country's intentions to bid for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
04 Sep 2018
Former NBA Europe chief Ben Morel named CEO of Six Nations Rugby
The Six Nations Council has appointed Benjamin Morel as the new chief executive of Six Nations Rugby – the organisation responsible for the international rugby championship.
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Diary dates
24 Apr - 26 Nov 2018
MAPIC Russia
Expocentre
Moscow
Russia
22-23 Sep 2018
World Wellness Weekend
Worldwide
23-24 Sep 2018
The International Congress of Esthetics and Spa - Long Beach
Long Beach Convention Center
Long Beach
United States
23-27 Sep 2018
EAS (Euro Attractions Show) 2018
RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre
Amsterdam
Germany
24-26 Sep 2018
ISPA Conference and Expo 2018
Phoenix Convention Center
Phoenix
United States
24-27 Sep 2018
SIBEC North America
Omni La Costa Resort & Spa
Carlsbad
United States
25-26 Sep 2018
International Wellness Conclave (IWC2018)
Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi Airport
Delhi
India
26-27 Sep 2018
Hotel Investment Conference (Hot.E)
Hilton London Bankside
London
United Kingdom
29-30 Sep 2018
SFN Expo
SEC Glasgow
Glasgow
United Kingdom
29 Sep - 02 Oct 2018
ASTC 2018 Annual Conference
Connecticut Science Center
Hartford
United States
30 Sep - 01 Oct 2018
Olympia Beauty
Olympia Exhibition Centre
London
United Kingdom
01-02 Oct 2018
Energy Management Summit
Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted
Stansted
United Kingdom
01-02 Oct 2018
Professional Beauty Mumbai
Bombay Exhibition Centre
Mumbai
India
04 Oct 2018
VAC 2018 (The Annual National Conference of Visitor Attractions)
Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre
London
United Kingdom
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