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British Swimming begins funding appeal process

11 February 2014

British Swimming has notified UK Sport of its intention to appeal the withdrawal of funding from the women’s Olympic sports of Synchronised Swimming and Water Polo.

UK Sport announced the decision to remove funding as a result of its annual investment review of summer Olympic and Paralympic sports, and British Swimming has responded by formally requesting the opportunity to make representations to UK Sport Board.

Commenting on the decision, British Swimming Chief Executive David Sparkes said: “It’s vital we have the opportunity to engage with UK Sport once again as we look to save these team sports from simply becoming a chapter in a history book rather than a lasting, Olympic legacy.

“Both sports have not only demonstrated real performance improvements leading up to 2012, which was reflected by UK Sport last year through increased funding, they have both made further progress in 2013 as acknowledged by UK Sport. They have also driven interest and participation with clubs across the country having to adjust to much greater demand for places.”

The opportunity to meet with UK Sport begins a process that could also involve a formal appeal.

Sports are first able to reaffirm their case for funding through a performance assessment of their potential to perform in Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020. These will then be reviewed by the UK Sport Board.

In the event these representations are unsuccessful British Swimming will consider a formal appeal through Sport Resolutions UK. The key focus of this route would relate to the process and whether it has been applied fairly to a sport or if it has disadvantaged a sport.

“These two team sports have demonstrated real performance potential and a year ago were rewarded for this very reason with increased funding,” said Sparkes.

“Synchro has consistently achieved all of its key performance indicators and, because of this, UK Sport has regularly regarded its strong, effective leadership as having real medal winning potential.

“Some of our higher profile athletes retired last summer and that was always going to be difficult but we are very confident the cohort of young up-and-coming athletes have real medal potential for Tokyo.

“We will also be making similar representations regarding Water Polo as we also believe the sport can deliver medal performance if allowed to implement the planned long-term strategy UK Sport supported just one year ago.”

“UK Sport has clearly demonstrated a wish to fund sports that can medal in Tokyo and we’re confident of making a strong case of this outcome.”

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