Sport Climbing backed by Aspiration Fund for Tokyo 2020

© Jorg Verhoeven

Sport climbing has been named as one of fourteen Olympic and Paralympic sports receiving investment from the new £3m Aspiration Fund to help support British athletes in their ambitions to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Sport climbing will be backed by a £192,500 investment from the fund.

The Olympic Rings (or volumes!) represent the five continents, but only the PanAmerican Championships have taken place so far.  © Jorg Verhoeven
The Olympic Rings (or volumes!) represent the five continents, but only the PanAmerican Championships have taken place so far.
© Jorg Verhoeven

The Aspiration Fund, which was announced by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in October this year, aims to support sports which do not currently receive full UK Sport funding to develop plans to help teams and athletes realise ambitions for the Tokyo Games.

Sports eligible to apply for the fund include all the unfunded summer Olympic and Paralympic sports, new sports for Tokyo 2020, and those currently in receipt of individual athlete medal support plan funding from UK Sport.

Following a UK Sport Board meeting earlier this week, it was decided that skateboarding, surfing and softball, which are all new additions to the Olympic programme for Tokyo, will receive investment from the fund, marking the first time they have ever received UK Sport funding.

Sport climbing and karate, completing the five new sports for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, currently receive UK Sport individual athlete medal support plan funding, but both will now be backed with additional investment from the Aspiration Fund. Earlier this year, Shauna Coxsey was named by UK Sport as the athlete with the highest medal potential in the GB Climbing Team and is the only climber to benefit from this initial investment stream.

Funding will also be provided for the Olympic sports of badminton, archery, beach volleyball, fencing, artistic swimming and table tennis.

Grants from the Aspiration Fund are capped at £500k for team sports and £275k for individual sports - a plan which will run to the end of the Tokyo 2020 cycle.

Zoe Spriggins, BMC Competitions Programme Manager, said: "We're very excited about this announcement. It's a great opportunity to improve the chances of our GB Climbing Team athletes making it through the selection process to represent us at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.

"The funding will help us support our athletes with the training, coaching, and dedication, required for winning on the world stage. If we're up against the best we need to be fully prepared."

Kevin Howett, Mountaineering Scotland's Sport Development Officer, said: "William Bosi shows some of the best potential for the three disciplines of Sport Climbing in the Olympics, and it has been his ambition to climb at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games since hearing it will be included.

"We have been supporting William for the last five years and have seen him go from strength to strength. This investment from the Aspiration Fund will be vital to help him train to reach his goal."

The GB Climbing Team is supported by the BMC, Mountaineering Scotland, Berghaus, and Rock Over Climbing, and the GB Paraclimbing Team is supported by Oakwood Climbing Centre and Quay Climbing Centre. Many UK walls also support the British Climbing Team through free or subsidised entry.

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10 Dec, 2018

With the recent good news around the additional funding that the sport of Climbing will be receiving to support team GB athletes at the Tokyo olympics, I was wondering how this money is to be distributed. I understand that Climbing was awarded £630,000 by UK Sport (whoever they may be) and this was to be distributed to 'key athletes' through the 'medal support plan', obviously Shauna is a prime candidate for this funding but which other athletes have benefited from this funding and what are the qualifying criteria, is any of this funding making it to the 'grass roots' as they love to say in football ?

Having re-read the article about the funding from the Aspiration Fund it states that "Shauna Coxsey was named by UK Sport as the athlete with the highest medal potential in the GB Climbing Team and is the only climber to benefit from this initial investment stream", does this mean that the entire £630,000 has been given to Shauna ?  I am assuming that I am incorrect here, so what exactly are the criteria  to receive Olympic funding from either Sport UK or the Aspiration Fund ?


10 Dec, 2018

I don't know the answers to any of your questions, but given that a medal at London 2012 cost an average of £4.5 million investment, I suspect that uk sport would feel that £636k would be money well spent even if that's only for Shauna.  

10 Dec, 2018

Grass routes funding comes from Sport England. Renewed now after a brief gap.

10 Dec, 2018

It was 'up to' £630k with approval of a plan and budget, so it may not be anywhere near that amount I guess.

10 Dec, 2018

You may well be correct the BMC statement says, "an award of £630,000 is to be set aside for the remainder of the Tokyo cycle" (whatever that means).

We are now eighteen months out from the Tokyo Olympics, you would have thought that any athlete who is to be a beneficiary of UK Sport funding would now be in receipt of the money or it will be of little benefit to them with the remaining time frame. Would it be inappropriate to ask which athletes are to be funded and what criteria was used to select them ..... or is this another #bmcconspiracy

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