Adam Peaty tells DCMS that UK athletes deserve improved government funding


BBC Sport – Olympics
Peaty has won three Olympic gold medals after winning two at the Tokyo Games

Olympic gold medalist Adam Peaty has called on the government to step up its support for top athletes who “cannot pay their bills with patriotism”.

Peaty, 26, along with Paralympians Lauren Rowles and Ellie Robinson spoke to MPs about supporting athletes.

UK Sport is currently distributing funds raised through the National Lottery.

“If you go to the Olympics and we’re third, second on the medal table, all the credit goes to the government,” said Peaty.

He told the Committee on Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS): “The government and the country enjoy these benefits.

“We represent that, we are very proud to fly this flag, but we cannot pay our bills with patriotism. I have very good support from other companies and sponsors, but more definitely needs to be done by the government.”

The government announced in August that it would provide £ 77.4 million annually to elite Olympic and Paralympic programs in addition to lottery funding in the three years leading up to the 2024 Paris Games.

The UK returned 65 medals at the Tokyo Summer Olympics, compared to 15 at the 1996 Atlanta Games, a year before lottery sponsorship began.

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Peaty also urged the government to improve funding for grassroots sport to keep recreational centers from closing and called for investment in coaches.

“I’m not a politician,” he said. “I don’t know where the money is supposed to come from, but I know if you have a healthier nation, fitter nation, happier nation, and a nation valued, the returns will be great.”

The government and the lottery together raised $ 220 million.

But DCMS member Kevin Brennan told Peaty that national lottery operator Camelot only increased its funds to good causes – including funding the sport – by two percent between 2009-10 and 2016-17, when its winnings were up 122 percent.

When asked by Brennan if this was a “massive moral failure” by Camelot, Peaty said, “If I look at my company and I know what I’m doing, make 120 percent profit and only two percent in a. hand back? good reason I would feel morally exhausted. “

In response, Camelot said, “It is disappointing to see people refer once again to an outdated, flawed report – which gives an inaccurate picture of the current state of the National Lottery.

“We keep around one percent of the profit. Last year we achieved record sales of over 8.3 billion euros for the national lottery.

“Charity revenues are now £ 500 million a year more than when the third license began in 2009, while profits are up £ 33.6 million.”

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