Athletes say ‘thank you’ to national lottery players
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Some of Team GB and ParalympicsGB’s most successful London 2012 medallists said ‘Thank You’ today to National Lottery players for their life-changing funding after a record-breaking Olympic and Paralympic Games.
No-one has contributed more to elite sport in the UK than National Lottery players. In fact, almost nine out of ten (86 per cent) Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes selected for London 2012 have benefited from National Lottery funding at some point in their career, enabling them to train to the highest of international standards and contributing to the team’s outstanding success.
Team GB’s athletes had their best Games in 100 years, achieving the upper end of the medal target range set by UK Sport, with success in more sports than ever before. They amassed a total of 65 Olympic medals – 29 of which were gold – across 16 sports to claim a top three finish in the table.
Before the 2012 Paralympic Games, GB and Northern Ireland athletes were tasked by UK Sport with achieving 103 medals in 12 sports and they didn’t disappoint. Outstanding performances in 13 sports took ParalympicsGB’s total medal tally to 120, finishing third in the table.
By comparison, at the 2008 Beijing Games, Team GB claimed 19 gold medals, 13 silver medals and 15 bronze medals across 11 sports to finish fourth in the medal table, while ParalympicsGB won a total of 102 medals across 12 sports.
623 Olympic and Paralympic medals have now been won by British athletes since the start of National Lottery funding in 1997.
All eyes will now turn to Rio 2016 where Team GB and ParalympicsGB will look to try and better London’s performance with the help of a further increase in National Lottery funding. For the London Cycle, from 2009-2013, £266m of lottery funding is forecast to be invested by UK Sport, with this then increasing to £344m for the Rio Cycle from 2013-2017. This funding will help ensure that GB’s athletes continue to benefit from world-class support as they prepare for the next Olympic and Paralympic Games.
London 2012 Olympic Sailing Finn gold medallist Ben Ainslie said: “When I started sailing as a youngster, trying to qualify for the Olympics at Atlanta in 1996, there was no funding in place at all. When I received Olympic funding in 1997-98, it effectively gave me an extra £20,000 a year as a top performer. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that sailing and all the Olympic sports would be a lot poorer without that level of investment. Looking at the sport we had then compared to the sport we have now, it’s almost unrecognisable: all the physiotherapy, support on the water, meteorology and tidal analysis is there because of the cash we get now.”
London 2012 Paralympic double gold medallist (T34 100 and 200m) Hannah Cockroft said: “I’ve had the most amazing Paralympic Games and it is thanks to National Lottery players that I have had this much success, without my funding my journey would have been a lot harder. Not only have I been able to train full time but I have had access to world class equipment, like my expensive racing chairs. I have had the best time of my life here in London and every hour spent training was worth it to win double gold.”
- Camelot UK Lotteries Limited is the licensed operator of The National Lottery and is committed to raising money for National Lottery Good Causes designated by Parliament. Camelot is not responsible for distributing or awarding these funds.
- Each week, over £30 million is raised for National Lottery Good Causes with more than 380,000 individual awards having been made across the UK to date – benefiting both large and small projects spanning arts, sports, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment. The National Lottery has given away over £41 billion in prizes and created more than 2,900 millionaires or multi-millionaires since launch in 1994.
- For further information on Camelot, The National Lottery and its games, please visit the following websites: www.camelotgroup.co.uk and www.national-lottery.co.uk.
- Players of all National Lottery games must be aged 16 or over.
- The crossed fingers logo is the registered trademark of the National Lottery Commission.
- UK Sport is the nation’s high-performance sports agency. Its mission is to work in partnership to lead sport in the UK to world-class success. Primarily this means working with our partner sporting organisations to deliver medals at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
- UK Sport also has responsibility for activities best delivered at a UK level, such as: bidding for and staging major sporting events in this country; increasing our sporting activity and influence overseas; and promoting sporting conduct, ethics and diversity in society.
- UK Sport is funded by National Lottery and Government investment.