Badminton England is pleased that UK Sport has acknowledged another successful medal winning year by choosing to invest £630,000 for the remaining period of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic cycle from the new Medal Support Plan announced today.
GB Badminton saw every penny of central funding removed by UK Sport in December 2016; a decision that was set against a backdrop of the sport winning Great Britain’s first ever Men’s Doubles medal – a result that exceeded the UK Sport target set for Rio.
A year on, English badminton has enjoyed a history-making 12 months at world level, starting with double European gold – a feat that has not been achieved for 29 years – followed by a richly deserved World Championships bronze medal for Chris and Gabby Adcock, who also rose to a career high three in the world rankings.
Furthermore, through 2017, all 12 members of the significantly reshaped England Performance squad – and Scottish number one Kirsty Gilmour – have enjoyed significant world ranking increases.
Success has continued at junior level right along the talent pathway with a U19 European gold medal the highlight.
There was also outstanding news for the GB Para-Badminton programme who have been awarded a funding investment of £960,000 across the same period, UK Sport as we prepare for the sport’s Paralympic debut in Tokyo.
In an astonishing year in the Para-Badminton arena, English athletes won a staggering 14 medals, including four gold and three silver at the World Championships in November, positioning GB as strong contenders to compete for medals in 2020.
On today’s UK Sport decision, Adrian Christy, Badminton England Chief Executive said:
“We were understandably very disappointed by the decisions taken by UK Sport 12 months ago. But we re-grouped and came back stronger, determined to continue to support the Performance Programme to the best we could and achieve what we always said was likely.
“I cannot praise the whole team highly enough; the resilience has been remarkable.
“We have just seen one of the most successful medal-winning years in the recent history of the sport. We have champions of Europe, Olympic and World medallists and a pathway of talent winning junior titles – as we look to Tokyo and beyond, we are in great shape.
“So, today’s news is welcome and we understand the new funding stream is somewhat experimental but it presents us with an opportunity to compliment the programme and to invest some additional resource into our medal aspirations in Tokyo.
“The investment into the Para-badminton programme is amazing news for the players and coaches specifically who have achieved many outstanding results for several years now and for Para sport more generally. This investment is transformational for Para-badminton and provides the support necessary to enable our players to now be fully focused on achieving their hopes and dreams in Tokyo.
“The immediate task is for us to meet with UK Sport to understand more of the detail but both the badminton Olympic and Paralympic programmes can feel pleased with today’s announcement as a recognition of a high achieving past 12 months.”