Inside Lines: Funding cuts leave little Zoe with big weight on her mind

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The swingeing funding cuts imposed on Britain's currently less successful sports turns the Olympic dictum of taking part being more important than winning on its head. Despite all those fine words when London won the bid, it is now likely that Team GB will be without the promised full complement of sports in 2012 because they can no longer afford to be there. OK, so times are tough, but the question these eight hard-hit sports raise as to whether the available funding has been shared out disproportionately by the Government paymasters UK Sport seems pertinent. Take weightlifting, which has lost £1m, almost two thirds of its Beijing budget. How will this affect one of British sport's outstanding Games hopes, the record-breaking 14-year-old Zoe Smith whose gym in Dartford is threatened with closure. Her mother, Niki, says: "I don't understand how they can justify giving large increases to sports that are already successful and cutting back on those who are struggling to get there. Isn't it they who really need the help?" Quite.

Bojo digs into grass roots

At least there is better news for sport's little people from Boris Johnson. The London mayor is keeping his word by finding £15.5m for grass-roots sport in the capital. As his sports commissioner, Kate Hoey, says: "Increasing participation in sport shouldbe the real Olympic legacy."

Nuts have cases of books

Wanted: a good home for a collection of nuts. To clarify, it's actually an archive of record books assembled by the National Union of Track and Field Statisticians, those super-anoraks who rejoice in the acronym Nuts. The historic tomes, which fill two rooms, would be worthy of a proposed national sports museum in the 2012 Olympic city, but until then anyone who can help should contact Peter Matthews at: p.matthews@tiscali.co.uk

Fergie no to 2012 job offer

Britain's Olympic footballers – should there be any – will be spared the half-time hair-dryer. Despite being tapped up by the PM and Lord Coe, we understand that Sir Alex Ferguson has turned down the offer to manage a 2012 team, making it totally Scot free.

Requiem for a couple of heavyweights

Boxing has lost two heavyweight greats. First Reg Gutteridge, a great journo, commentator and a mate, at 84; and now at 76 Ingemar Johansson, whose memorable KO of Floyd Patterson in 1959 Reggie recorded as "Ingo's bingo!" The Swede, who also beat Henry Cooper, was diagnosed with dementia 10 years ago. Of the many stories about Reggie and the leg he lost at the D-Day landings, the one I like best is his droll quip: "The trouble with the Germans is that give 'em an inch and they take a foot." His funeral will be private but a memorial service will be held at St Bride's, Fleet Street on 13 May.

insidelines@independent.co.uk

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