Memorandum submitted by UK Sport
1. This submission briefly describes the
first 15 months of UK Sport as a Lottery Distributor and looks
forward to the funding needs of the next Olympic cycle to 2004.
2. UK Sport (the business name of the UK
Sports Council), chaired by Sir Rodney Walker, became a Lottery
Distributor in its own right on 1 July 1999, as a result of The
National Lottery etc Act 1993 (Amendment of Section 23) Order
1999 laid before Parliament on 9 June 1999. The amendment allocated
9.2 per cent of Lottery income earmarked for Sport for distribution
by the United Kingdom Sports Council, by "top slicing"
the percentage received by each of the four home country Sports
3. UK Sport took responsibility for a major
part of the World Class Performance Programme which made its first
revenue awards in May 1997 and targets Lottery funding at the
United Kingdom's most talented and successful sportsmen and women
to help them attain sporting excellence on the world stage. The
programme focuses on the pursuit of medals in Olympic, Paralympic
and other significant world championships in which the United
Kingdom is achieving or is likely to achieve international success.
4. UK Sport also took responsibility for
a World Class Events Programme which provides Lottery funding
to applicants to bid for and stage major events judged as of significance
to the United Kingdom.
5. World Class Performance Programme applications
are considered by an independent UK Wards panel which makes recommendations
to the UK Sports Council for approval. World Class Event Programme
applications are considered by an independent Major Events Steering
Group which also makes recommendations to the UK Sports Council
6. In the three-year period leading up to
the Olympic Games over £60 million of Lottery funding has
been invested in the World Class Performance Programme, split
between Programme awards to the Governing Bodies, and subsistence
(now known as athlete personal awards) awards direct to the athletes.
Since 1 July 1999, £1.6 million per annum has been committed
to the UK Sport World Class Events Programme to support such events
as the Rugby League World Cup and the World Track Cycling Championships
in Manchester, both of which are staged in October.
7. Great Britain and Northern Ireland has
just enjoyed its most successful Olympic performance since 1920,
when it won 11 gold medals in Sydney, and finished 10th in the
medal table, as below.
8. At the Paralympic Games in October, Britain
is aiming for a top-three place in the medal table, an improvement
on Atlanta when Britain finished fourth with 39 gold medals. (The
final result for Britain is second in the medal table and 41 gold
medals have been won).
SYDNEY FINAL MEDAL TABLE
|1 USA: United States of America||39
|2 RUS: Russian Federation||32
|3 CHN: People's Republic of China
|4 AUS: Australia||16
|5 GER: Germany||14
|6 FRA: France||13
|7 ITA: Italy||13
|8 NED: Netherlands||12
|9 CUB: Cuba||11
|10 GBR: Great Britain||11
|11 ROM: Romania||11
|12 KOR: Korea||8
|13 HUN: Hungary||8
|14 POL: Poland||6
|15 JPN: Japan||5
|16 BUL: Bulgaria||5
|17 GRE: Greece||4
|18 SWE: Sweden||4
|19 NOR: Norway||4
|20 ETH: Ethiopia||4
9. The above nations all won four or more gold medals.
OF UK SPORT
10. In total, 49 athletes who were included on the UK
Sport funded World Class Performance Programme won an individual
or team medal at the Sydney Olympics. Of these, just five were
"means tested" out from receiving any athlete personal
award, because their income as "professional" athletes
negated the need for Lottery funding. They still benefited from
the Programme award to the Governing Body. Some £1.7 million
of Lottery funding went direct to the medal winning athletes over
their period on the World Class Performance Programme. Nearly
all of them came on the Programme in 1997 and 1998 and have received
Lottery support for two years or more. This does not take into
account the Paralympians whose medal haul will be significantly
higher. About 43 athletes who competed in Sydney for UK Sport
funded sports were not included on the World Class Performance
11. At Appendix 1
is a breakdown of achievements against targets set by Governing
Bodies across all Olympic sports. UK Sport funded individuals
on Archery and Taekwondo by the use of Exchequer funding as there
was not an approved World Class Performance Plan in place. Badminton,
Boxing, Hockey, Men's Artistic on Gymnastics, Shooting, Table
Tennis and Weightlifting are currently funded by the home country
Sports Councils and not by the UK Sport Lottery Fund.
12. Following a meeting of the Sports Cabinet on 6 October,
the Government moved to allay fears that Lottery funding to the
World Class Performance Programme would be cut post-Sydney. Funding
to the programme had increased from £13.7 million three years
ago to £36.2 million this year. The Secretary of State, Chris
Smith was quoted as saying:
13. "We have clearly seen the effect our World Class
Performance Programmes have had and we must make sure this continues."
14. "The spending has grown over the last three
years and we have pledged to match the highest level of that,
which is effectively £36.2 million."
15. "The announcement we have made and those from
Tony Blair and Gordon Brown recently confirm the Government is
pledged to ensuring the success of our sports people."
16. "Our performances in the Olympics show we are
catching up on our rivals and that is a very positive sign."
17. On 19 October, the Prime Minister announced the appointment
of Dr Jack Cunningham MP to head a review panel examining how
our top athletes are supported by Lottery funding. The Government
has now agreed to commit at least £100 million over the next
four years to the World Class Performance Programme. The Sports
Cabinet also concluded that a high level urgent inquiry into the
operations of the World Class Performance Programme is needed
to ensure that the extra money is spent efficiently and effectively,
and, secondly, to link the findings into the development of the
UK Sports Institute. A copy of the press release is at Appendix
18. Support is targeted at athletes with medal potential
who are, broadly speaking, ranked within the top 20 in the world.
Athletes below this level are supported through home country Sports
Council or Governing Body funding.
19. Around 730 athletes, named on the World Class Performance
Programme by the Governing Bodies, are currently eligible to receive
personal awards to contribute to living and sporting costs. This
enables many of them to take leave of absence from employment
to benefit from periods of intensive training. A contribution
of £1,000 towards education costs is also available within
an athlete award to encourage athletes to continue their personal
development alongside their training. The maximum award is £27,000
while the average is £10-12,000. Awards are means tested
to ensure that the funding reaches those athletes in most need.
20. World Class Performance Programmes in 24 Olympic
and Paralympic sports are currently funded. Awards are made to
the Governing Bodies of sport. Programmes vary in size and sophistication
depending on the number of athletes being served. They cover,
for example, the appointment of Performance Directors, world class
coaches, sports science and medicine specialists and training
and competition costs at home and overseas.
21, UK Sport receives 9.2 per cent of the Lottery sports
fund for distribution. An additional £5 million was "inherited"
by UK Sport from the home country Sports Councils. This had been
earmarked for UK level Governing Body Awards but had not been
"spent" as at 1 July 1999.
22. As has been stated, in the three-year period preceding
the Sydney Games, a total of £60 million was distributed.
23. This included £25 million distributed in the
year leading up to the Olympics as more Governing Bodies submitted
applications in support of athletes that were equally deserving
of support. This included several Paralympic sport applications,
which were successfully included in the World Class Performance
Programme for the first time. It was always felt that Olympic
year would be the most demanding on the resources available and
it was fortuitous that UK Sport was able to take advantage of
this under-spend to allocate £25 million in awards predominately
in support of Olympic and Paralympic athletes
24. Post-Olympic and Paralympic performance reviews are
scheduled for every sport from late October through to December
2000. This will include athlete reviews and programme reviews.
25. Future award decisions will be directed in support
of those athletes (nominated by governing bodies) as having demonstrated
the potential for medal winning performances in the period up
to and including the next Olympics in 2004. Recent performances
in the Olympics against targets give an indication of the realism
of the target setting by Governing body personnel and the level
of risk in the investment.
26. UK Sport has welcomed the statement by the Secretary
of State that Lottery funding for the World Class Performance
Programme will be maintained at current levels, and the subsequent
confirmation that £100 million will be committed over the
next four years to the World Class Performance Programme. UK Sport
is in discussion with officials at the Department for Culture,
Media and Sport as to how this can be achieved.
27. Lottery funding is volatile and dependent on the
number of tickets bought by the general public. As such the level
of income available for distribution cannot be guaranteed. Current
Lottery income projections issued every six months by the Department
for Culture, Media and Sport indicate that net Lottery income
will drop over the next Olympic cycle. The Department issue "low",
"medium", and "high" scenario projections
of income. The experience of UK Sport is that the "low scenario"
most closely matches the actual income it receives.
28. UK Sport is proceeding on the basis that it will
have £25 million per annum to allocate to the World Class
Performance Programme from 1 April 2001 to 31 March 2005.
29. UK Sport is convinced that elite sport must remain
a recipient of revenue Lottery funding, not for its own ends,
but to support the efforts of British sportsmen and women to achieve
the pinnacle of their individual and team abilities. As UK Sport
only funds the top 20 or so sports people in the world in the
sports it funds, the achievement of sporting excellence will often
demonstrate itself in medals won, and Finals made.
30. The Government has already announced initiatives
for school sport, which is where many future champions are first
identified and nurtured. It is essential that Lottery funding
continues to support each step up the ladder of success. UK Sport
is tasked with helping sport deliver the ultimate sporting targets.
31. The 2004 Olympics provides the extra challenge of
at least maintaining the success achieved at Sydney with a largely
new set of athletes who are demonstrating the potential to succeed
in four years time. The Paralympians have already set themselves
the ultimate challenge of being the leading nation in medals won
at the 2004 Paralympics, and are currently nearing the end of
a very successful 2000 Paralympics. UK Sport requires the right
level of Lottery income to help elite British sport turn their
aspirations into a reality. The level of funding is by no means
the sole criterion of success, but the experience of Sydney has
confirmed that for many athletes, Lottery funding has meant the
difference between competing honourably, and competing and winning
32. The recent success at the Sydney Olympics gave the
whole nation a "feel good" factor and produced very
positive publicity for the National Lottery, at a time when Britain
is perceived as being relatively unsuccessful in some of its major
33. The Committee is requested to add its weight to supporting
the mission of UK Sport to help athletes and coaches maintain
and improve the position of British sport at Olympic, Paralympic,
and World Championship level by the maintenance and enhancement
of the allocation of revenue Lottery funding to elite sport.
Not printed. Back