The Olympics get ever closer and the good news today is UK Sport found some cash down the back of the sofa to help out sports not considered medal chances.

The Guardian reports: “Britain’s surfers, skateboarders and softball players are to receive official funding for the first time to help them qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Surfing will receive £192,500 as part of UK Sport’s new “aspirational fund”, which aims to support sports which do not receive full lottery funding to realise their Olympic and Paralympic ambitions and inspire future generations, with skateboarding getting £162,500 and softball £62,500.”

UK Sports harsh ‘if you ain’t winning we ain’t paying’ system makes sense on one hand but stifles development of sports that aren’t cycling or rowing on the other. So it’s great to see them helping out the not so glam sports with their Aspiration Fund.

As to how the money will be spent we don’t know as yet. If nothing else it should mean the team can afford to travel to qualifying events stress free. More on this as we get it.

Press release from Britsurf

“Today, UK Sport have announced that the sport of surfing will receive up to 192,500 GBP as part of the Aspiration Fund in support of preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

“The Aspiration Fund application submitted on behalf of BSURF (the collaboration of the 4 surfing governing bodies) will be used to support the elite athletes in their qualification for the games and the delivery of a social impact plan to maximize the benefit from the games across Britain.

“In 2016 the member nations of the Olympic Movement voted in favor of the inclusion of the sport of Surfing in the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020. Surfing was one of five new sports to be included and provides a platform for British surfing to excel on the world stage.

“Within the British Islands the governing bodies for the sport of surfing consists of the Scottish Surfing Federation, Surfing England, the Welsh Surfing Federation and the Channel Islands Surfing Federation, each of which manage the sport in their own jurisdiction.

“Over recent years each of the Federations have gone from strength to strength; managing their own programmes and teams at European and World Championship level. With the prospect of Surfing entering the Olympics, an event which requires British Team participation, the Federations representing each jurisdiction formed the British Surfing Union of Recognised Federations (‘BSURF’) collaboration agreement. As well as framing how the governing bodies will come together to select, prepare and manage a British team when required, the BSURF agreement offers each home nation a framework for collaboration and mutual support. In the last two years BSURF have been recognized by the British Olympic Association and the International Surfing Association.
For the sport of surfing, these are very exciting times, and the team now embark on a journey to build an effective strategy and development plan that will prepare British athletes for the world stage in readiness for the Olympic Games 2020.