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Friday 16 November 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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15 Nov 2018
Susan Cain to deliver opening keynote at 2019 ISPA
New York Times best-selling author and top TED Talk speaker Susan Cain will be the opening keynote speaker at the 2019 ISPA Conference & Expo taking place 11-13 September 2019 in Las Vegas, US. The event’s theme, ‘Evolve’, will highlight the growth of the industry and the positive road that lies ahead.
14 Nov 2018
IAAPA 2018: WhiteWater and Cirque du Soleil announce plans to 'redefine' waterpark experience
WhiteWater West and Cirque Du Soleil have announced a brand new partnership to bring Cirque-themed waterparks to life in multiple locations worldwide.
14 Nov 2018
Good Spa Guide names best UK spas
Winners of this year's Good Spa Guide Awards were announced last night (13 November) at a gala dinner at the SpaLife Conference in Birmingham, UK.
14 Nov 2018
Breaking: Calgary public votes 'no' to 2026 Olympics
Canadian city Calgary's hopes to host the 2026 Winter Olympics Games are all but over, after a public vote saw the city's residents reject the plans.
09 Nov 2018
IAAPA 2018: 35,000 gather in Orlando for record-breaking attractions expo
More than 35,000 buyers, suppliers and representatives of the attractions sector from more than 100 countries are heading to Orlando, Florida, ahead of this year's IAAPA Attractions Expo, which is set to break records once again as the organisation celebrates its centenary year.
01 Nov 2018
Leicester City, Warwickshire CCC and Leeds Rhinos among winners of 2018 IOG Awards
Groundscare teams at Leicester City FC and Leeds Rhinos rugby club are among the winners of the 2018 Institute of Groundsmanship’s (IOG) awards for groundskeeping.
29 Oct 2018
Active IQ wins Innovation of the Year award at FAB 2018
Active IQ has been declared the winner of the Innovation of the Year Award at the FAB 2018 Awards, organised by the Federation of Awarding Bodies (FAB).
29 Oct 2018
STA secures Collaboration of the Year prize at FAB Awards
Safety Training Awards, the awarding organisation of the Swimming Teachers' Association (STA), has been handed the Collaboration of the Year award at this year’s FAB Awards.
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Diary dates
24 Apr - 26 Nov 2018
MAPIC Russia
Expocentre
Moscow
Russia
12-16 Nov 2018
IAAPA Attractions Expo 2018
Orange County Convention Center
Orlando
United States
14-16 Nov 2018
MAPIC
Palais des Festivals
Cannes
France
19-20 Nov 2018
Israel Hotel Investment Summit (IHIS)
Hilton Hotel
Tel Aviv
Israel
20-21 Nov 2018
Sleep + Eat
Olympia
London
United Kingdom
27-27 Nov 2018
BASES Conference
Harrogate Convention Centre
Harrogate
United Kingdom
28-29 Nov 2018
MIPIM Asia
Grand Hyatt Hotel
Hong Kong SAR
05-06 Dec 2018
ARCHITECT@WORK - Germany
Messe Stuttgart - Hall 9
Stuttgart
Germany
05-06 Dec 2018
International Sports Convention (ISC)
Palexpo Convention Center
Geneva
Switzerland
05-06 Dec 2018
Esports Conference
Palexpo Convention Center
Geneva
Switzerland
05-06 Dec 2018
Turf and Grass Conference
Palexpo Convention Center
Geneva
Switzerland
05-06 Dec 2018
Stadium Connected Conference
Palexpo Convention Center
Geneva
Switzerland
05-06 Dec 2018
Sports and Sustainable Development Goals Conference
Palexpo Convention Center
Geneva
Switzerland
05-06 Dec 2018
Sports Broadcast Conference
Palexpo Convention Center
Geneva
Switzerland
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