Over the last few years, the interest in gymnastics seems to have increased. There are many possible reasons for this, obviously Spelbound winning Britains Got Talent has caused a surge in interest in gymnastics among children in the UK and Ireland. I think another major factor that has added to this interest is the new level of competition involved in the sport at Olympic level. For many years it was the Romanians, USA and Russia etc dominating the sport but as we have seen in the last few months, countries like the UK are catching up quickly and making things a lot more interesting, thus the media becoming more interested in gymnastics!
With that in mind, it makes me think about funding in gymnastics. I was reading this article from the BBC Sport website yesterday which includes a small section about the amount of funding given to gymnastics and what it means to the sport. Sport England has allocated £11,388,481 to gymnastic national governing bodies for 2009 until 2013, with the hope that the numbers increase and gymnasts perform better although gymnasts such as Daniel Keatings and Louis Smith are still waiting for their gyms to be refurbished, with the Olympics coming closer and closer, they’d want to secure funding very soon to move passed the initial phase.
Admittedly, I haven’t looked too much into it but how much funding does gymnastics receive from governments / sports bodies in your country? We can see above what BBC Sport have reported, I’m sure there is more to find out. In a previous post, Irish Gymnastics secured an allocation for 2010 of €169,545 for the sport – encouraging as gymnastics was one of only 11 sports out of 59 funded that maintained their funding levels this year in a year where the Irish Sports Council’s budget was cut by 4%. In Ireland, gymnastics is considering more of a minority sport as the country has it’s main sports rugby, football and the GAA sports (Gaelic and Hurling). It would be interesting to see how much more successful Irish gymnasts could be if more money was pumped in, providing better training facilities and national support etc. I’d love to know how much funding USA Gymnastics, Australian Gymnastics etc receives and how the money is spent.
So it leaves me asking:
How much funding does gymnastics receive in your country?
What difference do you think more funding could make to gymnastics in your country?
Do you feel that the allocated money is being wasted and could be used more resourcefully?
If it was you who makes the decisions, what would you spend more money on? better coaches? better facilities?
I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts.