UK Sport Launch Rio 2016 Campaign

March 23, 2015

By Christian Radnedge

UK Sport chair Rod Carr admits there’s always pressure on his organisation when it comes to funding as he aims to lead the country to more medals than ever at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Carr (pictured left) was speaking as UK Sport appealed to the nation from the Brazilian Embassy in London on Monday.

‘We Need You’ was the message displayed on screens as the campaign revealed itself to be a plea to the public to buy tickets to more than 30 World and European level events held in the UK in the 500 days between now and the opening of the Rio Games.

UK Sport say there will be more than 900,000 tickets available to the public at events which will provide up to 95 qualification spots for Team GB.

But with a general election coming up, the status of sports funding may change. However Carr was adamant that plans for Rio would not be affected by a new government.

UKSport_Presentation“We are confident that as we come to the end of this cycle that our funding is in place for Rio, and subject to the profits of the national lottery which is going really well at the moment because we get a lot of lottery share, people keep buying lottery tickets, then we’re in a good place” Carr said.

“We can never say we’re absolutely sure, but we’re very confident that our money and our support to our sports and our athletes will continue right through to Rio.”

Team GB’s aim is to win more medals than ever at Rio, which would buck the trend of host countries suffering a decline in medals at the subsequent Games.

A big performance in Rio would not only create history, but also secure the immediate future of UK Sport.

“Spending government money, public money, is a privilege and a right and we understand there’s lots of pressures on the economic situation” Carr said. “We hope that by performing really spectacularly well in Rio that the government, whoever that is, will see fit to retain the level of funding that we’ve enjoyed over the past few years.

“Of course, there’s always pressure. It’s sport.”

UKSport_Presentation3The events in the #everyroadtoRio programme kick off with the AIBA World Series of Boxing in London next month. The final event before the Games will be the IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final in July 2016.

Carr was joined at the presentation by a number of young Team GB athletes and Brazilian Ambassador to the UK, Roberto Jauaribe.

The ambassador gave an update on Rio’s preparations to the assembled crowd saying of the venues; “they are well on their way, some of them are already there because of different activities including the opening game stadium which is Maracana which was rebuilt for the World Cup.

“We know we’re going to be increasingly the focus of attention, particularly from the British media which is so powerful, so forceful as they were prior to the World Cup.”