With the excitement of the Olympics still bubbling and the Paralympics about to start, thought is being given to how the athletes are funded and the future. The British National Lottery and Euromillions prize draw are both important to this.
Katherine Grainger won a Gold medal in the recent London 2012 Olympics rowing after achieving three Silver medals in previous Olympic Games to add to her six world championship titles. She agrees none of this could have been possible without the support of the British National Lottery.
She started training in 1997, just as the British National Lottery funding began but knows athletes who had to work a job or get into debt in order to finance their sport. Now Katherine and others can concentrate full time on their rowing and can get grants for the equipment, support and training they need to ensure they can properly represent their country.
Sir Chris Hoy started training in 1994 and had to pay for his own training and provide his own bicycle to train in the local velodrome. When the British National Lottery started funding cycle sports, the standard leaped enormously. Over the last few days Chris has shown the money he has received has not been wasted as he won his sixth Olympic gold medal in London to add to his 11 World Championship golds and innumerable other medals.
Both Chris Hoy and Katherine Grainger have been vocal in asking for funding to be maintained for sports after the Olympics and it looks like both the British National Lottery and the Government is responding.
Of his sport, Chris Hoy told the Daily Express newspaper: “Cycling is one of the key beneficiaries of Lottery funding, allowing it to bring in top-class coaches and buy the best equipment. The result? Eight golds in Beijing and another eight in London.”
Who knows what our lottery pounds will pay for in Rio de Janeiro in 2016?