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British Cycling to receive over £35m for next Olympic cycle as UK Sport stresses ‘culture’ and ‘winning the right way’

“If you're not going to put good positive culture at the heart of what you do, you're simply not welcome” says funding body...

British Cycling is to receive £35,429,000 to fund its World Class Programme for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic cycle. The 12 per cent rise comes as UK Sport has reduced funding for a number of other major sports, stressing that greater diversity and ‘winning the right way’ were key considerations when making allocations.

The BBC reports that £352m has been allocated to British sports for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris.

This is an increase on the £345m for the Tokyo cycle, but there has also been a significant rise in the number of sports funded from 32 to 43.

In marked contrast to cycling, athletics, gymnastics, rowing, swimming and equestrian have all had their budgets cut by about 10%.

"It is a really important and exciting moment," said UK Sport chair Dame Katherine Grainger, announcing the funding.

"There are two key things – broader diversity and broader engagement and that winning is still important but how we win is equally crucial to everyone in the system.

"Everyone is on board to make sure that we win in the right way and that it isn't just a nice tagline to have.

"This isn't just a phase it is an evolution of the system and the how [we win] being so powerful and popular now."

UK Sport's previous approach to funding, based purely on medal potential, was strongly criticised in the wake of a series of scandals – not least at British Cycling.

Following a series of allegations of discriminatory conduct and bullying, UK Sport commissioned an independent review into the climate and culture of the governing body’s World Class Programme.

This recommended that funding be made conditional on various changes being implemented, including professional staff training “not only in relation to core disciplines but also in terms of equalities and discrimination.”

British Cycling accepted that many of its structures and procedures were lacking and agreed a 39-point action plan with the funding body.

Commenting on its new approach to funding, UK Sport chief executive Sally Munday said: "What we've done is taken a holistic view of the sports in terms of looking at their athlete cohort and their potential for the future.

"We've looked at how they run their programmes, the cost of running their programmes, and we've looked at how they're going to make sure that culture is at the heart of what they do.

"We're very satisfied with the sports that we're investing in that they are committed to having the right culture.

"We will work together with the sports to make it very clear that if you're not going to put good positive culture at the heart of what you do, you're simply not welcome."

British Cycling reaction

Performance Director Stephen Park said: “It’s fantastic news that we will be in receipt of £35,429,000 to fund our activity for the next four years as we move through Tokyo and head towards the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“In what has been a difficult year for everybody, we are grateful for the funding which we are set to receive. It will enable us to put in place plans to support riders to realise their dreams and win medals across all the Olympic and Paralympic disciplines.

“The money will be invested in supporting the very best of talented British cyclists as we seek to continue to be the top cycling nation at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. That means reinforcing our talent pathways to ensure the legacy of the team can continue beyond 2024.

“We know that the success of the Great Britain Cycling Team on an international stage allows British Cycling to reach new audiences and encourage more people to ride bikes whether that is for fun, fitness, travel or for sport. More people cycling means more people leading happier, healthier lives and it means the places where we live and work will be less congested and less polluted. Our purpose is to inspire Britain to become a great cycling nation through being the world’s best sports team and the funding we are set to receive will play a significant part in us achieving this.

“I would like to thank everyone who plays the National Lottery as they have now given us the opportunity to fulfil our ambitions over the next four years. I would also like to thank UK Sport for their investment in our sport and the whole team is excited to start their preparations for Paris in earnest.”

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