Sam Walker in action at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Now he and his GB team-mates are trying to qualify for Tokyo 2020

New UK Sport fund welcomed

Paul Stimpson

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Table Tennis England has welcomed the news that UK Sport is to help unfunded Olympic and Paralympic sports work towards Tokyo 2020.

Sports Minister Tracey Crouch today announced that Olympic and Paralympic sports outside the World Class Programme will be able to bid for additional investment to help athletes compete at the Games.

The £3 million Aspiration Fund will allow sports which do not currently receive full UK Sport funding – including Olympic table tennis – to develop plans to help teams and athletes qualify and to submit a bid for funding.

Table Tennis England Chief Executive Sara Sutcliffe said: “This is a very significant announcement and a positive step which will benefit a number of sports.

“The creation of the Aspiration Fund is an acknowledgement that elite athletes in all Olympic and Paralympic sports work hard to target qualification for the Games. We thank the Sports Minister and UK Sport and can confirm that we intend to make a bid to the Aspiration Fund on behalf of British Table Tennis.”

Table Tennis England is one of 11 National Governing Bodies (NGBs) which have lobbied under the Every Sport Matters banner for unfunded sports to be given a guaranteed base level of funding to help them finance high-performance programmes aimed ultimately at qualifying and being competitive on the Olympic and Paralympic stage.


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