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Home   Kent   News   Article

Kent elite athletes discover how much funding their sports will receive from UK Sport

19 December 2012

Kent sport stars have endured mixed fortunes after the announcement of UK Sport's funding for the run-up to the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

In all 42 summer Olympic and Paralympic sports which are deemed to have 'credible' medal potential at the next two Games will receive some of a record £347m of funding.

The cash is designed to help beat the GB medal hauls from London 2012 - TeamGB won 65 medals at the Olympics while Paralympics GB recorded 120 later in the summer.

Many of the county's elite athletes could benefit from an increase in funding after their sports enjoyed success in 2012, however several more will miss out entirely.

After winning just one game between them at London2012, the GB sitting volleyball teams have seen all funding cut.

The women's captain, Claire Harvey from Ashford, said on twitter: "The funding decision is zero for sitting volleyball. Where's the legacy?"

"We are truly gutted, not just as athletes but for those young people behind us who have lost a pathway to aspire to.

"A true athlete is the person who can pick themselves up and find a way through when it all seems impossible. That's what we will do now."

Beckenham's Richard Dobell and Folkestone-based Gurkha Netra Rana represented the men's side and Dobell tweeted: "The rest of the world excel, invest and unite in team sports. Good old GB holds true to its institutional blinkered approach. It's sad."

Paralympic table tennis stars Will Bayley, from Tunbridge Wells, and Ross Wilson, from Sheppey, have however been given a boost.

Bayley won a silver in the singles and bronze with Wilson in the team event at London 2012 and have seen funding increased from £1.64m to £2.7m. That comes despite funding for Olympic table tennis being removed altogether.

Bayley said: "2013 is when I get back to No1 in the world and train even more than I did in 2012. I am hungry to be the best again."

Despite missing out on a medal in the Paralympics, GB's wheelchair rugby team, skippered by Sittingbourne's Steve Brown, are deemed a medal chance for Rio and have seen funding increased from £2.2m to more than £3m.

UK Sport increased funding for Paralympic sport overall by 43% to £72m.

British Gymnastics - which supports Medway's Olympic trampoline star Kat Driscoll - has seen a rise in funding of almost £4m up to £14.5m after a successful summer while athletics will receive nearly £27m, up by £1.6m, which will benefit the likes of New Romney's Lisa Dobriskey, Dartford's Adam Gemili and Jack Green from Hythe.

Hockey will receive £15.5m, up by £500,000, which could go towards supporting West Malling ace Ashley Jackson, while Canterbury stars Nat Seymour, Susannah Townsend, Dilly Newton and Ross Gilham-Jones are all hoping to push for places in the GB squad for the next Games.

Rowing funding has increased by more than £5m to £32.6m, with Ashford's Tom Ransley, a bronze medal winner in the men's eight at London 2012, and his former training partner Dan Ritchie from Herne Bay, who missed the Games through injury, in line to benefit.

Handball, wrestling and basketball have seen all their cash removed while West Wickham water polo star Sean King saw funding for his sport cut, causing him to say: "I guess that means GB will no longer be represented at international level."

Swimming officials are set to provide a low level of funding to men's water polo in lieu of the UK sport cash.

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