Surfing and skateboarding are about to receive government funding in the UK for the first time ever as athletes in both sports prepare for the 2020 Olympics.
Launched by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the £3 million Aspiration Fund was announced in October and is designed to support athletes in “minority sports” from wheelchair rugby to the two boardsports and even softball. The UK’s Olympic surfing program will receive £192,500 and the Olympic skateboarding program will be getting £162,500.
“This £3 million fund will give more athletes in more sports the chance to compete at the very top in Tokyo,” says Mims Davies, the UK’s Sports Minister. “It will help Great Britain and Northern Ireland continue to be a leading Olympic and Paralympic nation and am sure the athletes that will benefit will inspire the nation and help their sports grow.”
Liz Nicholl, UK Sport chief executive, said, “Many of the sports we are currently unable to support, whilst further away from reaching the podium, have the potential not only to inspire through their performances on the field of play but also to inspire new audiences to engage in sport and activity.
Sport grants from the Aspiration Fund are capped at £500,000 for team sports and £275,000 for individual sports and they’ll run through the end of the Tokyo 2020 cycle.