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Team 2012 to boost Britain’s medal hopes in final 100 days of preparation

18th April 2012

UK Sport, the nation’s high performance sports agency, has today announced a £750,000 cash injection, funded by the Team 2012 presented by Visa programme, to be invested in the final 100 days of Olympic preparation and 133 of Paralympic preparation, and boost Britain’s medal hopes for London 2012.

Today’s additional award, adding to the existing £312 million investment of National Lottery, Government Exchequer and Team 2012 funds into Britain’s sports and athletes for the current Olympic cycle, is aimed at giving sports the opportunity to invest in additional opportunities to fine tune their preparations for the Games.

The investment in each sport is roughly equivalent to £1000 per athlete that will be selected for the Games, and, after submitting a business case to UK Sport for this additional money, most sports have opted to invest in three key areas in order to enhance their final preparations;

  • Additional training camps and competitions – for example the GB Men’s Hockey team will now be travelling to the Sultan Azlan Shah tournament in Malaysia in May and the GB Men’s Water Polo team will now be inviting Italy, the current World Champions, to attend their preparation camp ahead of the Games to gain competitive experience against a top team
  • New kit or equipment – for example the British Wheelchair Tennis team are investing in protective wheelchair covers to keep players’ chairs in top condition when they travel and the British Cycling team will be investing in a rest and recovery package for their athletes for use both up to and during the Games, such as white noise generators and posture control, reading and relaxation chairs
  • Supplementary expertise in coaching, science or medical backup – for example the GB Synchronised Swimming team will be able to access the expertise of an internationally renowned choreographer and coach and British Cycling will be investing in more soft tissue therapy support for their BMX and track cyclists

This investment in British Olympic and Paralympic sports will play a crucial part in supporting the British team’s preparations for London 2012.Team 2012 additionally helps to fund support programmes run by the British Olympic and Paralympic Associations and over the remaining days to the Games, fundraising efforts will continue in a bid to ensure Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic teams are the best prepared in history.

Sir Matthew Pinsent, four time Olympic gold medallist and Chairman of the Team 2012 Appeal, said: “Team 2012 exists so that, come Games-time, athletes are in a position where they can say to themselves ‘Everything is in place, I’m in the shape of my life and I couldn’t possibly be better prepared.’

“The extra Team 2012 funding awarded by UK Sport to our Olympic and Paralympic sports today marks the final 100 days of preparation before the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games and will be used to give our athletes an extra boost.  To help ensure no stone is left unturned in the pursuit of excellence, we’ll be continuing our fundraising efforts in these crucial final days and hope to raise £20million in total to support the preparations of Olympic and Paralympic athletes this summer.

“From providing extra training camps and competition experience, to new equipment or additional sports science and medical support, this money will ensure a fantastic platform on which to send ‘Our Greatest Team’ to the Games.”  

Liz Nicholl, Chief Executive of UK Sport, said: “I am delighted to be able to offer our sports this additional investment for them to seek out key opportunities to boost their final 100/133 days of preparation and help give our athletes a winning edge come Games time.

“British athletes are among the best funded and supported in the world and UK Sport is hugely grateful to the Team 2012 supporters, as well as The National Lottery and our Government for their incredible support for our ambitions for success at our home Games in London.”

Joanna Wray, World Class Programmes Manager for British Water Polo said: "UK Sport’s additional funding will add a huge performance benefit to both of our squads in preparation for the Olympic Games.  For the men, it means we can bring a world class country into our holding camp to participate in a number of official matches. 

"This will bring the best preparation for the squad prior to the Games and will give them the opportunity to play an Olympic opposition and share knowledge prior to entering the Village.

"For the women we can add a competition to our Olympic preparation.  Whilst the holding camp is based in Hungary with the national team playing friendly competitive matches, we will not have played a competition since May, and adding an official competition lends to more pressured official matches that can prepare the athletes even better."

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