£232 million investment to support GB & Northern Ireland athletes path to Paris 2024 Olympics
The Prime Minister and Culture Secretary have announced that the Government will provide £232 million to support Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes prepare for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The £232 million will be used to back aspiring Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes as well as their coaches and support staff, in addition to funding from the National Lottery. This £77.4 million a year to elite sport agency UK Sport is an increase from the £54 million a year baseline government funding UK Sport received for Tokyo 2020 - a rise of 44 per cent.
The news will provide a major boost for Team GB’s returning athletes following their stunning performances in Tokyo, and the Paralympic athletes set to grace the world stage in the Paralympic Games that begin later this month.
They will be in line to benefit from UK Sport’s World Class Programme and Progression Funding, which will provide vital support towards reaching the pinnacle of their sports as preparations begin for Paris 2024 and beyond.
The investment will also support athletes and coaches targeting success at the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, and help kick-start the search for the next generation of Olympic and Paralympic champions.
It comes as the Prime Minister and Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston attend the Team GB Homecoming event at Wembley Arena today, where the medal-winning success of the likes of Adam Peaty, Jason and Laura Kenny, Tom Daley and Sky Brown will be celebrated in front of a live audience and broadcast to the nation at home on BBC One.
Team GB and Northern Ireland won 65 medals in 25 different disciplines, broader than any other country, including in BMX and Skateboarding for the first time at what was the latter sport’s inaugural games.
These medals placed Great Britain and Northern Ireland fourth in the medal table.
The Paralympic Games will see around 240 athletes representing ParalympicsGB in Japan, including the likes of track stars Jonnie Peacock and Hannah Cockroft and swimmer Ellie Simmonds.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“Team GB showed us the very best of this country in Tokyo - demonstrating sportsmanship, hard work and record-breaking performances. From the pool to the track to the velodrome, our Olympians gave us so many reasons to be proud, and to celebrate their extraordinary success. This increased funding will support Team GB to deliver their best possible performances in three years time in Paris.”
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
“Our Olympic athletes have been an inspiration to people across Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the world. Their incredible performances gave us many medal winning-moments in Tokyo that will live long in the memory and I am sure we will enjoy many more from our Paralympians later this month.
“Their success is years in the making and a credit to their resilience, dedication and brilliant talent. Despite major disruption caused by the pandemic, Team GB have brought the entire nation together and inspired the next generation of athletes.
“Today we reaffirm our commitment with increased government funding, ensuring they can focus on delivering more memorable performances at Paris and beyond.”
British Olympic Association Chair Hugh Robertson said:
“This is amazing news. We are very grateful for the support from the government that will set us up for Paris 2024 and beyond.”
Mike Sharrock, CEO of the British Paralympic Association said:
“This is great news for our Paralympic athletes about to compete in Tokyo, demonstrating the government’s backing for their hard-work and dedication in preparing for Tokyo and ensuring that we continue to be a major powerhouse in Paralympic sport through to Paris 2024 and beyond.”
With the challenges of disrupted training schedules, lockdowns and additional safety measures, lottery and government funding, coupled with athletes’ hard work and extreme dedication, enabled 376 Team GB athletes to be selected for Tokyo - making it the biggest Team GB at an overseas games.
The funding also comes with less than a year to go to the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022.
Birmingham and the West Midlands are benefitting from £778 million of investment, making it the biggest investment in a sporting event since London 2012. It is already generating jobs for local people, creating world class sporting facilities, attracting new inward investment to the region and promoting the very best of the West Midlands and the UK to the world.
Athletes are set to compete at venues across the region, like Sandwell and Cannock Chase. West Midlands residents can apply now for tickets with a national ballot opening later in the year.