British volleyball teams lose public funding

October 1, 2010

Public funding for Britain’s women’s indoor volleyball and men’s beach volleyball teams has been withdrawn.

The cut was announced earlier, but officially took effect on 1 October. The withdrawal of funds casts serious doubt over the teams’ participation at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Volleyball was one of eight sports to have its funding cut at the beginning of 2009 because of UK Sport’s £50 million (US$79.2 million) budget shortfall.

GB volleyball coach Audrey Cooper said: “This will have a massive impact on our preparations – without finance we can’t enter or put on events.

“In essence, after Friday [1 October] I shall have no full-time job. We are still working on a deal to try to ensure that I stay on in a part-time role, which will involve me trying to find new backers for the team.”

In August the women’s indoor team organised a 272-mile bike ride from Sheffield to London with the aim of raising £250,000 (US$396,000) to keep their Olympic dreams alive.

Cooper added: “We had some great publicity and made around £12,000, but the main disappointment was that no major backer came out of it and we are still looking for sponsorship.”