Monday 13 February -- UK Sport has today confirmed an additional £90,000 of funding into Great Britain's baseball and fastpitch softball national teams.
This funding is part of an additional £4m investment across 33 sports from UK Sport which will support athletes in many sports to prepare for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games and, in other sports, to enhance their chances of future Olympic qualification.
The funding will allow athletes to attend extra competitions that have been added to the international calendar in addition to training camps.
Within the additional £4m of funding, 26 World Class Programmes will benefit from £3.5m of extra investment. A further half million pounds will be invested across Progression sports, those with identified long-term medal potential and National Squads Support Fund sports, where funding is designed to support the costs associated with forming and fielding squads for competition on the Olympic and Paralympic qualification pathway.
The additional money for the GB Women's Fastpitch and Men's Baseball teams comes from the National Squads Support Fund.
These additional investments follow UK Sport's recent summer sports 2022 Annual Review. A full breakdown of the investments is available here.
The increased funding announced today does not include Athlete Performance Awards, which are managed separately from individual sport investment.
BaseballSoftballUK CEO John Boyd commented: “With LA 2028 firmly in our sights, we are delighted that baseball and fastpitch softball’s performance trajectory has been recognised by this increase in funding from UK Sport and The National Lottery. As both sports prepare to compete on the world stage this year, the funds will provide an extra vote of confidence for the sports.
“2022 was a remarkable year for these British teams, with GB Baseball storming through the World Baseball Classic Qualifiers undefeated and GB Women’s Fastpitch Softball winning a European Silver Medal to qualify for the WBSC World Cup group stages. The National Squads Support Fund has been a vital lifeline contributing resource and expertise to the sports’ performance programmes, as we build towards Los Angeles in 2028 and beyond."
Kate Baker, Director of Performance at UK Sport said, “With the summer Olympic and Paralympic Games less than 18 months away, the additional investments we are making -- which are possible thanks to the support of The National Lottery -- are aimed at supporting our sports in the lead-in to Paris, while also keeping one eye on the longer term.
“It is vital that we focus our resources on supporting our brilliant athletes and staff - with major championships and Paris qualification requirements obviously at the forefront of our minds – and also ensure we continue to strengthen the system going forward."