Grassroots to benefit from funding boost

Clay Shooting previously reported that UK Sport will fund shooting to the tune of £7,028,124 to lead up to Tokyo 2020 – nearly double the figure it got in the run-up to 2016.

In fact, shooting was one of the biggest winners out of all the sports in UK Sport’sdistribution of funding, with its overall lottery and government-funded sum rising more than £3m from its previous total of £3.95m. The total given out to all sports has remained roughly the same, signifying that shooting is now considered a greater medal prospect than before.

Ed Ling Bronze medalist 2016 Olympics Trap Shooting. With wife Abbey.

Sport England then announced a funding package of £1.29m to increase grassroots involvement in the sport and expand shooting’s core market of regular competition shooters.

Sport England’s director of sport, Phil Smith, said: “Sport England’s new strategy is very clear that to achieve the next big increase in the number of people playing sport and being active, we need to change the way we invest money and put customers at the heart of everything we do. That’s as true of sport’s core market as it is of those currently less active. There are millions of people with a regular sporting habit, who are often the most committed and resilient. But our research tells us we can never take them for granted.”

Team GB’s shooters have now medalled in two successive Olympics, with Peter Wilson taking Double Trap gold in London 2012, followed by bronzes for Ed Ling and Steve Scott in 2016. British Shooting performance director, Steven Seligmann, said: “We are extremely grateful for the investment we have received… without which none of what we have achieved would be possible.

“The funding increase is a result of hard work as well as a committed, focused and unified approach that everyone at British Shooting has contributed to – most notably the athletes, coaches, volunteers and staff.

“The hard-working people involved in our sport are at the heart of what we delivered in the Rio cycle and what we are aspiring to achieve in Tokyo and beyond. This is fantastic news for shooting and we look forward to continuing to work with athletes across the performance system with a greater focus and determination towards Tokyo and beyond. We have a very exciting group of athletes, who have the potential to get to Tokyo and achieve medal success. It will be important that we continue to invest in the things that will make a difference and will enable athletes to fulfil their Olympic aspirations.”

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