Thursday 25 January 2007

Olympics: squash funding to suffer?

London 2012I was as disappointed as everyone else when squash failed to make it into the 2012 London Olympics.

An article in the Guardian this week listed "20 reasons to be cheerful and 12 reasons to worry about the Olympics" - one of the "worries" being that "Non-Olympic sports are likely to suffer as Lottery cash is siphoned away to the games".

The prognosis for squash events in the UK looks good. UK Sport are contributing £152,000 towards the costs of staging the 2008 World Squash Championships in Manchester - the money being made available through their Lottery-funded World Class Events Programme, which "aims to secure sporting events of strategic importance in the UK".

The Sport England website gives greater information on squash funding but its contribution appears to end 2005/6 (is this because the document is old?). As a "priority sport" squash receives "National Investment". The second funding stream is called the Community Investment Fund - this is the Lottery funding available through and managed by the regional offices of Sport England. It is this second stream of funding that would suffer if Lottery money was diverted towards achieving British success in Olympic sports in 2012.

I contacted Sport England to point out that their information on their website seemed to be out of date. Here is their reply:

"The information on the site appears to be out of date. Apologies for any confusion. England Squash are a designated Sport England priority sport and are currently delivering a four year business plan (2005-09) to meet certain objectives around increasing participation in the sport and also the around performance elements of the game. They receive £1.5m per year to achieve these goals. The plan is available on the England Squash website ..."

Unfortunately England Squash's Whole Sport Plan 2005-2009 seems to have its budget section missing, so it is unclear whether they receive any direct Lottery support through the Community Investment Fund. I have contacted England squash and am awaiting a reply.

Can anyone shed any light on whether a drop in funding is a distinct possibility (as the Guardian article suggests) or, indeed, is already happening?


  1. It remains consistently bemusing to me that sports that have enjoyed British success for some time like squah continue to be overlooked when it comes to the Olympics.

    In light of recent (last 3-4 years) disappointments in so many other sports why is something like squah overlooked? I read recently that the UK powers that be are looking to the training methods and general infrastructure supporting the likes of rowing, cycling and sailing in the UK as Brit's have dominated these sports for some time now at Olympic level.

    the same reasons for success in those sports seem to apply to squash so why look to guest sports which never last more than one 'Olympic' to fill these gaps???

  2. The importance of Olympic inclusion is best highlighted by the success of rowing: Britain wins Olympic medals in that sport and it achieves a high media profile - as do individuals (Redgrave, Pinsent etc)

    On a day-to-day basis it receives little coverage in the press.

  3. Just as a follow up to this I notice that a new initiative has been launched to partner Olympic sports with FTSE-100 companies - something that squash will of course miss out on.

    Given squash's popularity amongst city workers it seems particuarly sad that the sport will miss out here:

  4. its a shame that squash doesnt get reconised as it should, its also sad when you get councils like Taunton Deane Leisure (somerset)closing two lovely glass back courts only about 15 years old to make way for a gym, these two great courts were part paid for by the national lottery and now there is only one pay and play court in Taunton, shame on you councils

  5. I completly agree. Quick movement would deffinatly cut the obese people down to It's a sport that once you get into it, your addicted. Squash is a well recognised sport but not considered to be good enough for the Olympics? whys that? Aparently one of the reasons why squash is not in the Olympics is because the clothing doesn't appeal to some views! what a load of bollocks. Can anyone think of any other reasons why squash shouldn't be in the Olympics?


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