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Monday 20 August 2018
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06 Feb 2018
'If we could start again…' Grainger and Grant reimagine sport funding system

Two leading authorities from the world of sport have had their say on the state of play in the UK, by suggesting a rethink of the funding system, from grassroots to elite level.

Chair of UK Sport Katherine Grainger admitted the current system is “challenging” and Sported CEO Chris Grant said there is a “huge opportunity” to create a more joined-up system.

Olympian Grainger, who took over as chair last year, told an audience of sports governing bodies, clubs and charities: “The funding models that are currently set up are quite challenging, between Sport England and UK Sport, and where the high-performance chart stops and where there are natural gaps.

“All sports have different structures and different pathways of how athletes come into their sport, whether it’s university-fed, club-fed or whether it’s from a young age.

“I slightly naively thought there must be some way to clarify all these pathways from grassroots stuff to high-performance sport so there’s a more natural flow, but it’s so much more complex than that.

“Ideally, if you were starting from scratch, you would say, ‘This is all sports and these are the ones that can go up to this level’. It’s just not that way at the moment; it’s much more fractured, so there’s not an obvious process – I think everyone finds that challenging, at all levels of sport.”

Grainger was responding to a question from CIMSPA chair Marc Woods, the Paralympic gold medallist and BBC commentator, during the Fit for the Future Convention hosted at Loughborough University by the Sport and Recreation Alliance.

Woods asked: “Will we reach a point where we’re funding sport looking at that holistic picture rather than ‘let’s fund medal success’ and ‘let’s fund grassroots’? Do we look at how sports deliver the whole piece and fund them that way?”

Grainger said: “There’s a massive challenge: how could you align, in an ideal world, all sports so there’s a real structure so as many people get involved as possible?

“We don’t want or need everyone to get into sport purely to be successful at the top, but the ones that do want to progress need an obvious pathway to go through.”

The message was reinforced by Grant, CEO of community sport charity Sported, who said: “It’s a huge opportunity – the more joined-up and rational we can get.

“If you’re starting from scratch, the thing I’d put in at the bottom, from a Sport England but also an education point of view, is physical literacy so you do that first and get the whole country able to do the basic stuff, based on whatever [skills] they’ve got.

“Then at certain points, people may be identified about having a particular aptitude and then you’d have a rational, joined-up system.

“The problem at the moment is that the funding system and how it’s set up tends to induce competition to make sports feel they’re competing with each other for resources and athletes.

“It would be lovely if we can move towards something that felt like one system.”

The panellists were speaking shortly after the release of sport minister Tracey Crouch’s latest Sporting Future report, which highlighted £530m ($737.7m, €597.3m) of investment by Sport England in grassroots projects.


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08 Aug 2018
Obama Foundation fellow Alex Smith to speak at ukactive National Summit
Alex Smith, founder of Cares Family and a fellow at the Obama Foundation, will give a keynote speech on loneliness at the ukactive National Summit next month.
08 Aug 2018
Grupo Vidanta to host Deepak Chopra-led retreat
Resort developer Grupo Vidanta will host its inaugural Vidanta Wellness Retreat at Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta in November, offering guests a wellness-inspired vacation led by health expert Deepak Chopra. The weekend retreat will offer a series of conferences, workshops and activities available to both resort guests and to the general public.
07 Aug 2018
Alberta Ferretti to give keynote at GWS
The Global Wellness Summit (GWS) has announced today that acclaimed fashion designer Alberta Ferretti will deliver a keynote speech at this year's summit.
06 Aug 2018
First US Hot Springs Conference announced for November
The first-ever US Hot Springs Conference will take place 7-9 November in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
31 Jul 2018
The Lanesborough Spa partners with Villa Stéphanie and Dr Harry König for new wellness residency
Luxury health and lifestyle member's club The Lanesborough Club & Spa in Belgravia, London, has announced a new four-day wellness residency with Dr Harry König.
30 Jul 2018
World Architecture Festival: Sir David Adjaye, Sir Peter Cook and Reinier de Graaf to speak
November 2018’s World Architecture Festival (WAF), at the Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Convention Center, will have a speaker list boasting some of the biggest names in architecture.
30 Jul 2018
CIDESCO to celebrate diversity with International Beauty Day 2018
Comite International d'Esthetique et de Cosmetologie (CIDESCO), an international standard setter for the beauty and spa industries, has announced plans to celebrate diversity in the beauty industry at this year's CIDESCO International Beauty Day.
26 Jul 2018
Daymond John to receive 2018 ISPA Humanitarian Award
Business leader and entrepreneur Daymond John will receive the ISPA Alex Szekely Humanitarian Award at the 2018 ISPA Conference and Expo this September.
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Diary dates
24 Apr - 26 Nov 2018
MAPIC Russia
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Professional Beauty Johannesburg
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CIDESCO World Congress & Exhibition
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Cosmoprof India
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ukactive National Summit
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ARCHITECT@WORK - Netherlands
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World Wellness Weekend
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The International Congress of Esthetics and Spa - Long Beach
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EAS (Euro Attractions Show) 2018
RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre
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