Inside Lines: Volley from volleyball as bid for funding reprieve fails

 

Slam dunkers reprieved, but is volleyball now a basket case? A reprieve for basketball, whose funding has been restored by UK Sport, but its sporting cousin volleyball now faces a possible death sentence after its own appeal was turned down.

British Volleyball's president, Richard Callicott, suggests this could cause the "utter obliteration" of the sport at the top level here. He is seeking legal advice following last week's confirmation that neither indoor nor sitting volleyball – the Para-lympic sport which 2005 London bombing victim Martine Wright says "helped bring me back to life" – will be given funding towards preparations for the Rio Olympics.

"We have produced a generation of players from nowhere who should be entering the most crucial phase of their development and starting work towards making an impact on the world scene," says Callicott. "They are now going to be denied that." He adds that they were given a fair hearing during their 45-minute appeal but remains intensely aggrieved with the outcome, which instead of restoring all or part of their £3.5 million funding, save for £400,000 already allotted to beach volleyball, offers a one-day workshop "to explore challenges you face" and an annual review.

The restoration of funding for basketball, previously given £8.6m, coincides with a strongly worded letter to the Prime Minister from Britain's Chicago Bulls superstar Luol Deng demanding Government intervention. But UK Sport's chief executive, Liz Nicholl, denies they were influenced by this. "It doesn't affect us. All our decisions are based on performance potential."

Like table tennis, another sport whose funding (£1.2m) has been slashed, volleyball will seek an independent review, but admits it does not have the resources to challenge the decision in court. The performance director, Kenny Barton, said the body would now be forced to withdraw teams from the World Championships, for which they face a fine. "As things stand I'm the last man in the office and will probably have to turn the lights out."

Legal eagle who dares

The Winter Olympics in Sochi are one year away this week, which also marks exactly 25 years since Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards, 49, soared into our consciousness as a truly abominable snowman.

Looking somewhere between Mr Magoo and Benny Hill's Fred Scuttle, the squinting ski jumper from Stroud won hearts, though nothing else, in Calgary. He was once the most lampooned figure in British sport, but he's always had bottle.

Last night he was soaring again, plunging off the high board to win the final of ITV's diving-for-dilettantes show, Splash! Olympic blazers may still shudder, but his 15 minutes of fame turned into a lifetime's celebrity. The once-bankrupt plasterer, now with a law degree, is having the last laugh on those who continue to see him as a national joke when actually he's more of a national treasure.

Fond farewell to Frank

Frank Keating, who died nine days ago, was the gentlest of souls and the most amusingly entertaining of sportswriters. Those who read his elegantly spun words surely believed he had great passion for all things sporting, but there was one for which the man whose parting phrase was "much love" had no love at all: Wimbledon. He detested it, believing it a bastion of middle-class privilege and snobbery.

While covering it for The Guardian back in the early Seventies he nipped out from the Centre Court press box for a cup of tea, handing his media pass temporarily to a youngster queuing for an outside court. The intruder was soon ejected and Keating hauled up before the All England Club Committee, and told he would be banned for a week. "Can't you make it life?" he pleaded.

Frank's funeral will be on Thursday (12.45pm) at Belmont Abbey, Ruckhall Lane, Hereford, where no doubt there will be much love.

a.hubbard@independent.co.uk

Sport
Premier League Live
footballLIVE Follow all the Premier League action as it happens
News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + echSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
News
James Argent from Towie is missing, police say
peopleTV star had been reported missing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
News
i100
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Clinical Negligence Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: HAMPSHIRE MARKET TOWN - A highly attr...

Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF, BGP, Multicast, WAN)

£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF,...

Commercial Property Solicitor - Bristol

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: A VERY HIGH QUALITY FIRM A high qual...

DevOps Engineer (Systems Administration, Linux, Shell, Bash)

£50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: DevOps Engineer (Systems Administration, L...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone