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Saturday 21 July 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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17 Jul 2018
Azerbaijan to host 2019 session of World Heritage Committee
The 43rd session of Unesco's World Heritage Committee will take place in Baku, Azerbaijan, it has been revealed.
12 Jul 2018
David Lynch Foundation CEO to keynote at GWS
Bob Roth, CEO of the nonprofit David Lynch Foundation and an expert on Transcendental Meditation, will keynote at the Global Wellness Summit taking place 6-8 October at Technogym Village in Cesena, Italy.
03 Jul 2018
Registration open for Give Kids the World charity events at IAAPA
IAAPA has opened registration for its annual charity events supporting Give Kids the World Village – the cost-free resort for children with life threatening illnesses.
25 Jun 2018
Belfast loses right to host 2021 Commonwealth Youth Games
Belfast has been stripped of its right to host the 2021 Commonwealth Youth Games, after the required funding for the event was not released by the Northern Irish government.
22 Jun 2018
ukactive Awards winners revealed – Stockport's Life Leisure named centre of the year
Winners of the inaugural ukactive Awards were revealed at a gala dinner in Manchester last night (21 June), as part of the three-day Active Uprising event.
21 Jun 2018
European thermal heritage to be celebrated in Budapest
The European Historic Thermal Towns Association (EHTTA) will hold an event this October in Budapest to celebrate European thermal heritage.
21 Jun 2018
Active Uprising kicks off in Manchester
Leaders from across the physical activity industry have gathered for the first ever Active Uprising event – organised by ukactive – which is being billed as a "three-day celebration of physical activity".
20 Jun 2018
‘Blue Zone Communities’ to be explored at GWS
Dan Buettner – who identified the five places in the world where people live the longest, healthiest lives and founded Blue Zone wellness communities – will discuss the science of living longer at the Global Wellness Summit this October at the Technogym headquarters in Cesena, Italy.
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Cosmoprof North America Las Vegas
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International Wellness Conclave 2018
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Professional Beauty Johannesburg
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MAPIC India/India Retail Forum
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CIDESCO World Congress & Exhibition
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Cosmoprof India
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ukactive National Summit
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12-13 Sep 2018
ARCHITECT@WORK - Netherlands
Ahoy (Rotterdam) - Hall 1
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World Wellness Weekend
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