Despite having to endure some incredibly boring ex-sportsman on our airwaves as they look to extend their time in the limelight despite being well below an acceptable standard in broadcasting, every now and again we are blessed with one who can write and also speak eloquently.
Former Olympic table tennis player Matthew Syed, the author of the brilliant book “Bounce,” is one such person. It was Oscar Wilde who said ‘never take on a man with a loaded pen,’ and UK Sport who handle the funding of sport in the UK may wish they had taken heed of that advice as Syed has given them a major broadside in The Times newspaper for whom he writes.
“They have lost the plot. Socially inclusive inner-city sports like volleyball, handball, basketball and table tennis have been cynically shafted by an organisation that has lavished public money on posh sports such as equestrianism, rowing and sailing. Meanwhile high-potential children from poorer families who could never afford elite coaching without public support are left on the scrapheap.” He said.
Recent Olympic table tennis player Andrew Baggaley has joined the argument stating “I never received individual funding but where is legacy for the new generation of players.”
Many in sport in the UK are now questioning the power given to UK Sport and ask why one body should be able to determine the fate of funding for so many sports. One suggestion is an independent review panel that assesses eachs sports claims on their merit.