News that rocked our Olympic plans
Recently the GB synchro team has had their funding cut by UK sport. The decision came as a big shock to all of us, including the support staff. We were expecting a small cut, because last summer seven of the team’s athletes retired, however as a new team we are showing great improvement and potential, and it is disappointing that we may not be able to show that to the world.
I have been with the GB synchro team for just over a year now, training up to 45 hours a week, in order to achieve my dream of reaching the Olympics, along with my team mates. I have sacrificed a lot for the sport, I relocated in order to be near our training base, as well as putting school work on hold, and spending less time with my family. A lack of funding in the future would mean I would have to give up the sport I had dedicated eight years of my life to. We won’t be able to inspire younger athletes to pursue their dream of the Olympics, or continue to attract interest as we did after the London 2012.
Synchro has been funded by UK sport since 2007, and had consistently met all of their targets agreed by UK sport. The team placed sixth in the London 2012 Olympics, and the duet 9th, delivering their best results so far. Synchro has also finaled at the past three World Championships. It was an honour to be in the team that was in the finals last year in Barcelona, and I will try my hardest to make sure I am able to experience that again, as it has been and still is my ultimate ambition to compete at the Olympics. It’s difficult to know what else the sport could have done, after 2012 the demand for places in synchro clubs showed a massive increase and we have clearly met our performance goals.
The next step for the sport is to appeal against UK sport’s decision. Whilst our national performance director and support staff go through the formal process of the appeal, as athletes we will continue to strive for excellence in each and every one of our training sessions. Everyday we will go to the pool in the hope that we will get our funding back, and train with the belief and confidence that this will happen. We are all staying positive going forward, and will train hard to get the best results we can at the French Open in March.
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