World Class funding from UK Sport secure despite impact of Covid-19 *H&H Plus*

  • H&H has been told the UK Sport lottery funding, which goes towards developing elite riders for championship success in showjumping, dressage, para dressage and eventing, ‘is secure’ despite the postponement of the Olympics and sport coming to a halt due to the coronavirus...

    Positive news from the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) indicates its UK Sport funding is unlikely to be immediately affected by the coronavirus pandemic, provided certain criteria are met.

    Lottery funding is allocated, via UK Sport, in Olympic cycles and goes towards developing elite riders for success in showjumping, dressage, para dressage and eventing.

    While sport is on hold and Tokyo 2020 postponed for a year, UK Sport announced on 19 March that it will “generally not seek to recover any financial investment in the World Class programme”, provided criteria surrounding government guidance and minimising financial losses are met.

    UK Sport chief executive Sally Munday confirmed this on 24 March, adding: “I’d like to take the opportunity to reassure sports that our guidance remains in place, that we will not seek to recover any financial performance investment or athlete performance awards due to disruption caused by Covid-19.

    “We also realise [Tokyo 2020’s postponement] has significant financial implications for our high-performance system and we are working hard to identify the wide-ranging impacts and scenarios, and are in close contact with government to establish how best to support our summer Olympic and Paralympic sports and athletes to be ready for the Games when they do take place.”

    A BEF spokesman told H&H funding “is secure” for the remainder of this cycle.

    The spokesman added the BEF is in the process for bidding for the 2024 Games cycle’s funding in the usual way, and has had no indication from UK Sport that the cycle length (four years) will change owing to the postponement of the Games.

    “As you can appreciate, the team are working carefully on budgets to make sure all eventualities are covered,” she said.

    “At this stage, we don’t know exactly what the plans will be. I’m sure in due course, UK Sport will give us an update on the award process as obviously medal targets were part of the bid (for every sport) and we won’t have Tokyo for that.”

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