UK Sport, which funds the Olympic and Paralympic sports for their elite activities announced that hockey would be receiving £14.1m for the four year period 2009-2013 for the build up to and preparation for the London 2012 Olympics. At about £3.5m per annum this is about a 25% increase on the annual funding that was provided for the recent Olympiad.
Richard Leman, President of Great Britain Hockey and a gold medallist from the 1988 Olympics said:
“This is fantastic news for hockey. I am delighted the progress that we have made over the last few years has been recognised by UK Sport and that they have backed us with sufficient funding to deliver the necessary athlete support, run the right number of training camps and be able to participate in all the relevant tournaments in the next few years. We are aiming high for London 2012 and this will give us the tools to give our committed elite players the best opportunity for success.
“Competing on home soil in 2012 will be a tremendous incentive for our athletes and I know that the whole group and the coaching support team will do their utmost to deliver success in 2012.
“Team sports do require a high base level of funding for them to function and we are all appreciative that the government has backed UK Sport’s Mission 2012 programme.”
Philip Kimberley, Executive Chairman England Hockey, which has the dual responsibility of preparing the squads on behalf of Great Britain Hockey said:
“I’m delighted with this funding news; for the last three months there has been a lot of uncertainty as to whether such funding would be forthcoming and we have lobbied hard both publically and behind the scenes. Now we can get down to the business of implementing our plans for the next four years.
“I know that our fifth place finish for the men and sixth for the women in Beijing has given us a strong platform from which to build. Of the 33 athletes that went to Beijing, 26 went for the first time and many will be competing for 2012 places. This increased funding will enable us to give our athletes that little bit more support to put everything they need in place to maximise their chances of success.”
Source: Great Britain Hockey ltd.
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