British Swimming begins legal appeal over funding

26th March 2014

British Swimming has notified UK Sport of its intention to undertake a legal appeal against the withdrawal of funding from the Olympic sport of Synchronised Swimming.

After careful consideration of all factors, including independent legal advice, British Swimming has reluctantly taken the decision not to appeal the removal of funding for the women’s Water Polo programme.

However, British Swimming is committed to continuing to campaign for Water Polo and indeed for the support of all Olympic team sports.

“After careful consideration of the UK Sport decision and having taken into account the whole process we are keen to appeal the case for Synchro,” explained British Swimming Chief Executive David Sparkes. “This matter will now be submitted to an independent hearing through Sport Resolutions (UK).”

“However, we still feel the strategy adopted by UK Sport in terms of team sports needs further review and we will be seeking to influence this for Water Polo and the future of all team sports.”

British Swimming Chairman Maurice Watkins commented: “This has been an extremely difficult decision for British Swimming to make.

“Based on the narrow criteria of the appeal process and the advice we have received it is with reluctance that we take the decision not to pursue a legal challenge over the withdrawal of funding for water polo.”

The decision follows last month’s announcement by UK Sport over the withdrawal of funding from the two aquatic sports. British Swimming challenged the decision by presenting strong cases for continued funding to UK Sport last week but the original decisions were upheld.

Twelve months ago both sports were awarded increased funding for the Rio Olympic cycle (2013-17) over the previous four-year term. These equated to £4.54m for women’s Water Polo and £4.34m for Synchro.