In Focus

Badminton Scotland Requests Plea to Enforce proper funding from UK Sport

By: Esme
Date: 06 Jun, 2018
Image Courtesy: PBL

A national consultation is being launched on Monday to determine whether Britain should change the entire way it funds elite sport or not.

A “National Consultation” has been launched to review and revise Britain’s way of funding the elite sport.

It has been a usual practice for UK Sport investing around £100m of National Lottery and government money into high-performance sport each year. This policy has been medals-based and a no-compromise one which played a major role in the success since the past two decades.

But the cost cutting and extreme ends of scrutiny and criticism flavored with a series of controversies led to revision of the rules. The recent amendments led to a loss of almost £1.7m to Badminton Scotland.

With the current case scenario, Badminton Scotland chief executive Anne Smillie hopes that the “global sports” will be recognized by the national consultation.

"I just hope that the complete review will see common sense come out of the other end," said Smillie.

She also added saying that we need to inspire thousands of youngsters throughout the country and they need to be able to have access to sports.

“ It's a nonsense that there's such huge amounts of money being spent on what I would consider to be less popular sports.”

Considering the popularity and the completion for the sport globally, she also added saying, “A number of medals we seem to win are in sports that are perhaps not as popular globally and it's easier to pick up medals and I think this is why UK Sport target particular sports.”

She also said that sports like badminton, basketball, volleyball are global sports and are played all throughout the country and the world but unfortunately here, it had to take a back seat to less popular sports such as modern pentathlon. Considering the fact that not many of us have access to horses as well as fencing and shooting lessons, the national consultation should revive its policies.

The current practice of fund release is dependent on the targets. While talking of this, she said that there is a need to have targets but it doesn’t make any sense when they say that funding is withdrawn when the targets aren’t reached.

“ I'm not saying that we need to receive millions of pounds every year but just give us our fair cut of the cake and we will achieve the medal success that UK Sport is looking for.”

Smillie also addressed this issue in 2017 and spoke about how Badminton needs more funding.

“They say the three-month consultation will allow the public, politicians and stakeholders to help shape the future direction of elite sport funding and influence how it strategically invests in the next Olympic and Paralympic cycle from 2020-2024".

Last year, Badminton Scotland filed an appeal and lost against the UK Sports funding cut decision.

This decision eventually led to the complete stoppage of all funds to the athletes and they had to come back home. Also, unfortunately, there have not been enough funds for the competition payouts and personal allowances.

The only light in this issue is that Badminton Scotland is not completely dependent on the UK sports, but it also gets its financial and professional support services from Scotland Institute of Sport.

"In the long term, if this is not sorted, yes it will have a major impact, a negative impact on the future of our sport" she added.

Talking of the athletes affected by this decision, Scotland's Kirsty Gilmour, who has won Commonwealth Games silver and bronze medals and two silvers at European Championships level, was one of those affected by the cuts.


The 24-year-old Champion earned majorly through the India’s Premier Badminton League.

Smillie thinks that this review which is currently going on, gives them an opportunity to connect more to sport’s system of kids in school. She is hoping that with the increasing funds, there will be a lot more stability in a player’s life.

Finishing the talk, she stated saying that there's no performance pathway to Olympic success because there's no funding in place then the youngsters, the stars of tomorrow, of one particular sport will be left behind or will shift places because of the kind of support other sports are getting.

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