Following a thorough evidence based submission to UK Sport of the Beach Women’s Volleyball Programme for ‘high performance’ funding, yesterday we heard the news that the Programme will not be funded. The submission was based on a new strategy that was developed following the retirement of our current athletes, Zara and Lucy at the end of 2013.
In their response UK Sport stressed the high quality of the submission, the strength of the professional support team /the platform for the high performance beach volleyball programme. However, with new athletes coming along at this stage and the number of countries competing in the sport, it did not meet their strict performance criteria – only investing in sports that offer at least likely 4th-8th finishes at Rio, and in those which can show clear and credible medal potential in Tokyo.
This outcome is clearly disappointing for the Sport of Volleyball that clearly demonstrated public enthusiasm during the London Games. It was the 3rd highest tickets seller during the Games and of the most clicked sports on the web, beach volleyball in particular.
However the new Board is determined to try to find ways to rebuild high performance programmes for the Volleyball sport going forward though continuing to work with the UKSport , the BOA to address a perceived gap between ‘participation’ and ‘high performance’ funding and with other relevant parties to try to find a sustainable basis for mutual collaboration.
Alla Main – President
British Volleyball Association