No medals, no money: UK Sport plays hardball with 2012 failures

 

The cheers of the crowd have barely died away but already minority sports that revelled in their moment in the Olympic sun are facing the realities of a tough future.

Britain fielded a handball team for the first time in the Olympics, while water polo returned for the first time in more than half a century. Neither is likely to feature as part of Team GB for the Rio Games in 2016, losing the funding they received to allow them to compete in London.

UK Sport, the body that distributes elite funding to Olympic sports, is in the process of determining how much each governing body should receive towards Rio – it has a pot of £508m to divide. Sports have to demonstrate that their teams or athletes are capable of winning medals in four years' time or, failing that, are able to qualify and finish in the top eight.

As the host nation Britain was able to enter every event in London, but for Rio sports like handball will have to qualify. Having lost every men's and women's match in London there is practically no chance of that. Under UK Sport's determined "no compromise" approach that means handball will not be funded again.

It is not only the "lesser" sports that face cuts. Swimming failed to meet its medal target and so will be given less public funding. It is a system that rewards success and it is one that has worked spectacularly well, helping deliver Britain's best Games result for more than a century.

Liz Nicholl, the chief executive of UK Sport, said: "Our aim is to make sure that when we make our Rio investments we invest in every sport that has medal potential. That for us is an absolute minimum. The starting point for handball and other sports that have been given host nation places is that they can qualify by right for the Olympics. If they can't be there they can't be supported to achieve a medal. That's what our no-compromise approach is about, that's the approach that works and we are not going to waver from that."

It is up to the governing bodies of handball, volleyball and water polo themselves to build on the publicity they garnered in London. UK Sport insists its role is to ensure Britain wins as many medals as possible – in other words it is entirely focused on elite sport. It is for each governing body to look to boost its profile, with the support of organisations like Sport England, which deals with grassroots sport and raising participation.

Ms Nicholl said: "Handball has had a fantastic opportunity to showcase its sport like never before. It has raised its profile and should attract a lot more participants – it should therefore generate more interest from the public and commercial sector. Every sport has to take responsibility itself for driving its own development to a point at which we can identify that it has a future medal opportunity. "We'd love to see in the future handball come through to where it can qualify by right. If they can show they can be on an upward trajectory to potential medals then we will be very happy to fund them. We will not be able to fund every sport."

Game over: The biggest losers

Handball

2012 funding £2,924,721

2012 performance Both the men's and women's team lost every game

2016 prospects Unlikely to receive any central funding towards the Rio Games

Water polo

2012 funding £2,928,039

2012 performance Men's and women's teams both finished last

2016 prospects Unlikely to receive any central funding towards Rio

Swimming

2012 funding £25,144,600

2012 performance One silver and two bronze medals left them short of their target of five to seven medals

2016 prospects Will still receive sizeable funding for Rio but not at the same level as for London

Related article from London's Evening Standard...

Tom Daley: I want gold in 2016, I'll be at my peak then

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Tangerine Dream Edgar Froese
people
News
Rob Lowe
peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
News
Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
News
Staff assemble outside the old City Road offices in London
mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
Life and Style
The Oliver twins, Philip and Andrew, at work creating the 'Dizzy' arcade-adventure games in 1988
techDocumentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Arts and Entertainment
Krall says: 'My hero player-singer is Elton John I used to listen to him as a child, every single record
music
News
Friends for life … some professionals think loneliness is more worrying than obesity
scienceSocial contact is good for our sense of wellbeing - but it's a myth that loneliness kills, say researchers
Arts and Entertainment
The Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
musicWu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own only copies of their latest albums
News
i100
Environment
Number so freshwater mussels in Cumbria have plummeted from up to three million in the 20th century to 500,000
environment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
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.

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us