The future of funding

UK Sport sets out exciting blueprint for the future of elite sport

Published 12 February 2019

UK Sport has set out an exciting blueprint for the future of Olympic and Paralympic sport with its Future Strategy.

The new strategy, which will come into force in April 2021 for the Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 Olympic and Paralympic cycles, has been created following an extensive year’s work that has included an independent Public Consultation and a series of evidence sessions with key stakeholders.

This new approach will see three tiers of funding that will channel investment into different stages of the performance pathway to enable the pursuit of medal success, whilst reaching deeper to develop the next generation of athletes and allowing more sports to realise their Olympic and Paralympic ambitions.

The funding tiers are:

  • Podium: Investment to athletes and teams with a realistic chance of an Olympic or Paralympic podium position within four years
  • Podium Potential: Investment to athletes and teams with a realistic chance of an Olympic or Paralympic podium position within four to eight years
  • Progression: Investment to enable sports and athletes to take the first step on the performance pathway

The approach means future investment will fundamentally be focused on Olympic and Paralympic sports and prioritised towards athletes that demonstrate the greatest potential to deliver medal success at the Summer and at the Winter Games.

The ambition is to pursue extraordinary success, enabling inspirational medal moments to be achieved by more athletes and sports whilst maintaining the UK’s position as one of the world’s leading Olympic and Paralympic nations.

By separately assessing Podium and Podium Potential investment streams, funding long term potential is not dependent on short term success while the development of a complete and coherent performance pathway will enable a stronger connection between funded programmes.

Meanwhile Progression Funding, a third tier of funding, will extend UK Sport support to provide athletes with an even greater chance of succeeding at the Games over a longer timeframe.

Progression Funding will allow more sports to benefit from investment, more athletes to be identified earlier and further down the talent pathway and more communities to be engaged and impacted.

The new strategy comes after the independent Public Consultation revealed that 61% of people agreed the current medal winning strategy is the right approach to investment in Olympic and Paralympic sport in the UK, with only 10% disagreeing.

The consultation was open from June to August 2018 and 4,923 people submitted responses.

This marks a significant rise in interest compared to the last consultation in 2014, when 924 people responded.

UK Sport Chair Dame Katherine Grainger said: “As an investor of significant public funds, it is right UK Sport should ask the general public whether we should continue aiming to inspire the nation through medal success and whether we could change our focus in any way.

“The findings have allowed us to create an exciting blueprint for the future of Olympic and Paralympic sport in the UK and put the athlete at the heart of everything we do.

“We are confident the new strategy will help sustain medal success while enabling more communities to be inspired by the power of high performance sport.”

Minister for Sport Mims Davies MP said: “This new strategy will further support our phenomenal athletes to deliver world-class performances, while using their success to inspire more people and communities across the country.

“We know that both our Paralympic and Olympic heroes play a huge role in helping to make the nation proud. This bold and exciting vision, that has been shaped by the public, will continue to strengthen our reputation as an Olympic and Paralympic powerhouse at Tokyo 2020 and beyond.”

Full consultation

UK Sport statement