Fencing: French lottery cuts red tape for British fencer
Thursday 07 May 1998
Williams, who competes for Britain and took part in last year's World Championships, has fenced for the last two seasons with clubs based in Paris which are subsidised from the French lottery funds. His French club pays for him to represent Britain in World Cup events.
That is a benefit which continues to elude Williams's British-based colleague, James Williams (no relation). James, who reached the last 32 of the sabre event at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, before losing to the silver medallist has seen his hopes of funding delayed by bureaucracy. While other fencers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have been paid directly by their national sports councils, James has had to wait for his funding through the performance plan submitted by the British Fencing Association. That plan has been rejected by the UK Sports Council, and an application for an interim grant is, in James's words, "in the pipeline". No decision is expected until August, by which time James needs to be in Malaysia for the Commonwealth Games.
James was only able to attend a recent World Cup event in Greece through a pounds 500 grant from his local council in Gillingham. It is the largest amount of funding he has had in a year.
While he can only wait and hope, so too must the British bobsleighers who won an Olympic bronze medal in Nagano two months ago. Sean Olsson, who steered the four man bob to Britain's first Winter Olympic medal since 1964 spoke yesterday of his frustration on learning that their success did not guarantee a continuing flow of National Lottery funding.
Last year's funding delays meant, Olsson estimates, that each member had had to find around pounds 6,000 to subsidise living and travel expenses. Once again this year, no funding is expected until September.
"It's all red tape," said Olsson, a paratrooper based in Aldershot. "There has been no continuity. As far as I'm concerned we had fulfilled our end of the bargain by coming home with a medal."
Apart from financing trips to Gibraltar and Calgary, where the team spent a month last year, there are more mundane costs - petrol money for trips to their only training venue in Britain, a rusting push-start run on waste ground at the back of the Thorpe Park amusements in Surrey.
peopleContenders for Time magazine's Person of the Year are a mixture of the good, the bad and the holy
newsAs the world remembers Mandela the hero, the prison where he spent 27 years seems all the more brutal
tvSteven Moffat reveals the actor was dying to take on the role of the Time Lord and says he is excited to see what he will do with the character
sportBayern Munich 2 Manchester City 3: City come from two down to beat reigning European Champions
arts + ents... and a chance to paint Booker Prize winning author Hilary Mantel
danceUnder Tamara Rojo's inspired direction, it seems possible that it could challenge the dominance of the Royal Ballet. We meet some established names and rising stars
travelDiscover Uruguay's jet-set beach resort, an Atlantic enclave with plenty of art and culture to explore on the side
Latest in Sport
Transfer news round-up: Barcelona to offer £37m for Manchester United striker Robin van Persie; Manuel Neuer interests Manchester City; Luiz Gustavo on Tottenham radar
Roy Keane omits Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs from 'greatest' Manchester United team
Gareth Bale puts five-bedroom Essex mansion up for sale at £2.2m following £86m switch from Tottenham to Real Madrid
Former England captain Mick Mills 'turned a blind eye' to initiation ceremony abuse at Stoke City, which included sexual assault dubbed 'The Glove'
Manchester United player ratings: The best (and worst) performers for David Moyes during the season so far
- 1 Mountain goats' miraculous escape from avalanche captured in dramatic video footage
- 2 It’s shameful that our universities have accepted gender segregation under pressure from the most oppressive religious fanatics
- 3 Sir Ian McKellen hits back at Damian Lewis' 'fruity actor' claims
- 4 Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
- 5 Selfie at funeral: Cameron squeezes in on Obama snap at Mandela memorial
£55000 - £66000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Top 10 Seeking Ma...
£50000 - £55000 per annum + excellent benefits : Pro-Recruitment Group: Senior...
£70000 - £90000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Pro-Recruitment Group: Our leadi...
£50000 - £65000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: A leading mark...