After the success of the British teams at the Winter Olympics, winning 4 medals our highest medal haul since 1928, it has been announced there will now be increased funding for Winter Olympic Sports. However this raises the question about why these sports were not gaining more funding in the first place? It should not take the success of Team GB at the Sochi 2014 to gain funding for their sports, this funding should already be in place.
The way the Sport is funded in Britain means that success is rewarded, meaning that the more Olympic medals that are won the more the more funding which the sport is likely to gain. However surely we should be funding the sports in which we are not achieving our aims in order to be able to improve in the future.
After the success at Beijing in 2008, Team GB’s swimmers were disappointed by their performance at the 2012 Olympics, but to add to the sense of disappointment for British Swimmers funding has been reduced. The success at the 2008 Olympics shows that Britain can be successful at this sport, and after a disappointing 2012, it seems counter productive to reduce funding at this time but instead surely money should be pumped back into the Sport in order to return to heights of 2008 and not continue to sink after London 2012.
There is a similar situation when it comes to Basketball. Basketball is the worlds fastest growing sport, and with the success of players player like Luol Deng and Joel Freeland who play in the NBA for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Portland Trailblazers respectively. It was also the first time that the British team had made it to the Olympics, it therefore seemed that British Basketball was on the rise, however at the beginning of this year it was announced that all funding to the sport would be cut. Deng said: “UK Sport deciding to cut British Basketball funding is hard to take, as I felt that we have all done so much to grow the sport and the national team. It’s just something you have to fight through. Growing basketball in the UK has always been important to me and it’s something I will continue to do through my foundation.”
Whereas football, which is also funded by the government, is a multi billion pound industry and therefore does not need funding. Currently government funds youth football however, we need to look to the German Model were Bundesliga clubs are made to fund youth football in their surrounding areas. If this model was introduced to this country it would mean that the funding currently given to football could be given to sports that are in much more need for the funding.
Funding of British Sport needs to change, not only in the way that funding is given but funding for Sports as a whole is currently being cut by the government, this cannot continue otherwise it could have a dramatic effect on British Sport.