British Equestrian’s Olympic and Paralympic disciplines received an early Christmas present today with the news from UK Sport that investment for Tokyo is secure, enabling our athletes and support teams to continue to prepare for the Games with confidence.
Indicative funding for the Paris cycle for the Lottery-funded UK Sport World Class Programmes was also announced, with the Olympic disciplines of dressage, eventing and showjumping awarded a confirmed £2.77 million in year one, and para dressage granted £753,000. This represents a reduction of about 22% for equestrian, which is in line the majority of sports supported by UK Sport. Investment awards will be confirmed annually over the four-year cycle.
The way UK Sport delivers its funding from Government and The National Lottery has been reviewed, with a new strategy to support more sports in becoming successful and engaging with the general public. Their overall funding has received an overall uplift despite the challenging economic circumstances, reflecting the importance of sport and activity to the nation.
British Equestrian Chief Executive Iain Graham commented; “Thank you to UK Sport for their confidence and belief in our sports. We have been realistic in our expectation due to the financial situation overall, so this is better than anticipated and should be seen as a positive result in the circumstances. This is still a sizeable investment and I’m grateful to the public who loyally play the National Lottery, which in turn allows us to turn funding into performance and inspire the next generation.
“I would like to also recognise UK Sport’s assistance in supporting our strategy. This funding enables our athletes, both human and equine, to maximise their potential and deliver success. Overall, we’ve delivered over 80 medals on the championship stage since the advent of Lottery funding in the late 1990s, which illustrates the value and impact of the support. We also look forward to working in partnership with UK Sport on their strategy to engage and inspire the public through the magic of sport.”
British Equestrian is eligible for Podium and Academy funding, which enables us to facilitate our four-tier programme for athletes. These key programmes help our human and equine athletes with access to the very best practitioners in coaching and sports science and medicine, who work in parallel with their home teams. Athletes on the Podium programme are also eligible for Athlete Performance Allowance Awards, which are means-tested grants from UK Sport and separate to this overall funding.
A great deal of work has gone into preparing a strategy that drives our programme and aims to deliver performance, development and results on the world stage. The core team behind the delivery of the Equestrian World Class Programme will now set in motion a process of reviewing budgets and plans to align with the funding levels.
Performance Director Richard Waygood said; “We’re grateful once again to UK Sport for our funding allocation and their continued backing, not only financially but with advice, guidance and confidence in our sports to deliver. We were prepared for a reduction because everyone is having to tighten their belts across all walks of life. We’ll adapt and work smarter under a resilient programme to ensure our athletes are not impacted and still have the tools to perform to their best ability. We’re currently in a good place in our Tokyo build-up and can now look forward to planning our Paris campaign with confidence. We will work hard to ensure equestrian maintains its rightful place in the greater British sporting landscape and inspire the public to support our athletes.”