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Theresa May commits to UK Sport funding boost

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Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged that the government will honour the financial commitment made by the previous cabinet to fund elite sport ahead of the 2020 Olympics.

Last November, then chancellor George Osborne increased UK Sport’s exchequer funding pot to £148m (US$181.3m, €164.6m) to prepare for the Games in Tokyo in four years’ time.

During a speech delivered to celebrate the achievements of Great Britain’s Olympic team in Rio this summer – where the team broke previous medal haul records with a total of 67 – May confirmed that would remain the case.

She said: “Last year the government announced a 29 per cent increase in funding for elite sport. It was a bold statement about our determination to invest in your success.

“And that financial commitment will continue under this new government. In four years’ time, I want to see another great parade like today’s after another great summer of success in Tokyo 2020.”

There had been concerns that the economic impact of Britain leaving the European Union would trickle down to elite sport funding, but during an interview with Sports Management earlier this year UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl said the quango had received “no indications” that exchequer funding was at risk.

“If we continue to perform as a system and if we continue to support our athletes to achieve and make the nation proud and inspire the next generation to get active and participate in sport we are providing huge value,” she said.

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Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged that the government will honour the financial commitment made by the previous cabinet to fund elite sport ahead of the 2020 Olympics.
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May said she wanted to see similar Olympic success at Tokyo 2020 / Frederic Legrand/Shutterstock.com
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