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British Swimming statement on UK Sport funding

18 December 2012

British Swimming is committed to implementing a streamlined Swimming World Class Programme with minimal impact on the Rio 2016 Olympic cycle following today’s UK Sport funding announcement.

The sport of swimming has seen a reduction of around 15% from the £25m it received in the London 2012 Olympiad to a figure of £21.3m for the Rio 2016 cycle.

We recognise we need to rebuild confidence that we can deliver medals at Olympic level consistently before we can demand more investment," - David SparkesDavid Sparkes, British Swimming CEO said: “Overall we are satisfied with the outcome. While disappointed with the award for swimming, we recognise we need to rebuild confidence that we can deliver medals at Olympic level consistently before we can demand more investment.

“We had a disappointing Olympics in swimming and we now need to focus our energies on driving the cultural change needed moving forward and this will be built around a no compromise approach underpinned by performance management and strong effective leadership.

“Everyone involved in swimming remains committed to working hard towards achieving success in Rio and beyond.”

British Swimming is already implementing a number of performance-focused recommendations as a result of the 2012 Performance Debrief undertaken following results in London.

“The Debrief has highlighted where resources need to be targeted going forward. It told us, quite clearly, the system we have in place is the right one and we now need to focus resources where they can achieve the biggest impact.

“We are undertaking a review of our Intensive Training Centre network, in terms of value for money, and going forward there will be changes. Reductions in staffing are also inevitable but we won’t rush into making changes.

These need to be done in a systematic and objective way that will not cause disruption to our athletes as they prepare for Rio.”

Commenting on the funding announcement, Olympic swimming finalist Andrew Willis said: “It was obvious that our funding was going to decrease as a result of London but the performance debrief and some great results at the World Championships last week showed that this team and the system behind it isn’t broken.

“We will continue to have targets to achieve but we always do and we’ll continue to work hard to achieve these as part of the goals athletes and coaches set for themselves.”

Despite the loss in funding for swimming, British Swimming saw an increase in funding for four other aquatic sports - disability swimming, diving, synchronised swimming and women’s water polo.

“We are delighted to see increased investment in disability swimming and diving which is richly deserved although there remains still much to do in these areas before Rio,” said Sparkes.

“The funding of women’s water polo and synchronised swimming is welcomed as clearly UK Sport recognises the tremendous progress these two sports have made in the last four-to-five years.

“Clearly there will be some disappointment that men’s water polo missed out but being realistic they are a long way from the Olympic standard and we will now work hard with the vibrant British Water Polo community to see what we can do to build an effective and appropriate programme for them.

The disability swimming programme has seen an increase in funding following the 39 medals won at the London 2012 Paralympics. It will receive a total of £11.7m as athletes prepare for the Rio Games.

UK Sport has also committed to give British diving an increase in its funding to £7.4m for the Rio cycle. With double-World Junior Champion Jack Laugher and Olympic Bronze medallist Tom Daley continuing to make their mark on the diving world, they are strong contenders for medals in Rio.

Britain’s synchronised swimmers also receive an increase in their budget for the next four years.  The team has made significant gains in the past four years moving their world ranking position up from 12th in 2009 to 10th in 2011 and the duet of Jenna Randall and Olivia Federici have moved from 14th place at the Beijing Games in 2008 to ninth in London.  The programme will now receive funding of £4.3m.

British water polo has received a larger allowance for the next four years but the money has been awarded to the women’s team who are deemed more likely to gain much needed ground in the run up to Rio. The programme will receive funding of £4.5m.

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