Hockey: England face life of reduced funds

Cuts imposed on the game by Sport England have been described by Philip Kimberley, the chairman of England Hockey, as "savage". Funding per annum for the next four years has been cut by more than 60 per cent across the board, including the funding of the England National squads up to the Commonwealth Games next year.

Cuts imposed on the game by Sport England have been described by Philip Kimberley, the chairman of England Hockey, as "savage". Funding per annum for the next four years has been cut by more than 60 per cent across the board, including the funding of the England National squads up to the Commonwealth Games next year.

An additional sum has been set aside to enable the England men's and women's squads to prepare and take part in the qualifying tournaments for the Olympic Games in Beijing. The reasons behind the drastic cuts were GB men's poor performance in Athens and the women's non-qualification for the Olympics.

Kimberley said: "We are deeply disappointed with the size of the cuts and it will require us to re-examine how we run our élite programmes at all age group levels. It may mean we have to sacrifice much of what we have been doing in the last two to three years. However, I'm confident we will emerge a leaner, stronger but more determined team."

Ballot papers will shortly be going out to elect an England Hockey president for the next two years. Nominations have been received from Martin Gotheridge, of the International and European Federations, and Mike Corby, a past president of the English Hockey Association.

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