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Three sports secure public funding after improved performances

By Tom Walker    30 Jan 2015
Table tennis is among the sports to secure a full two-year extension to its funding

Three national governing bodies of sport (NGBs) have secured two-year extensions on their Sport England funding, following improved performances.

British Fencing, The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and Table Tennis England are three of the six sports that were given one-year funding arrangements in 2013 as a result of concerns about their leadership, governance and investment plans. All six were asked to demonstrate that they were capable of improving performance in key areas and worthy of public investment.

The Three governing bodies that were awarded the two-year funding deals this week all recruited new chief executives and, in some cases, new chairs and entire senior management teams.

Crucially, they trio have also refined their investment plans.

The LTA has put increasing participation at the heart of its strategy and focused on customers when making decision. It is also working closely with the Tennis Foundation to develop disability tennis.

Elsewhere, Table Tennis England has greater insight into the people who play the game and has also improved its programme for talented athletes.

Concerns over the image of fencing led British Fencing to significantly improve its governance and develop a more customer-focused approach to attract new people into the sport.

Sport England chair, Nick Bitel, said restricting funding on the three NGBs had returned the desired results.

“Placing these sports in one-year funding arrangements in 2013, and then keeping them there in 2014, sent a clear message to governing bodies about our intentions to secure improvements for grassroots sport,” he said.

"The response we’ve seen has been positive and demonstrates the importance on which sports place the participation agenda."

Meanwhile, three NGBs that have failed to improve their performance and bring it up to Sport England’s requirements remain on restricted funding. A final decision about the Amateur Swimming Association and the Basketball England will be taken in March this year.

Despite demonstrating "significant progress", England Squash and Racketball has only been given a one-year funded award taking it through to March 2016.

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