Nicholl defends funding cuts
UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl believes team sports can still build on their work at the London Games despite funding cuts.
Basketball, handball and volleyball were all told on Tuesday that the varying amounts that propped up their journeys to this summer's Olympics were to be taken away ahead of Rio 2016.
While those three sports would have been outsiders to qualify by right - they were given host-national status this year - their chances have thinned further now, with UK Sport's no-compromise approach rewarding the sports they feel will medal in Brazil.
Administrators and players from the three have been voicing their disappointment since the announcement was made, but Nicoll feels that they can still make an impact.
Starting by being asked about basketball losing all of its £8.6million of funding, she told talkSPORT: "Basketball is a great participation sport, it's competitive worldwide and is the equivalent of our football in the (United) States.
"Basketball has made fantastic progress but we have to compare what we do with the London Marathon. There is an elite race and a mass-participation race.
"We are responsible for the elite race and set the rules for who can enter.
"We are not responsible for sports as a while. Handball, basketball... they have the chance to increase and develop their sports in the UK."
Handball, whose squads were specifically put together for London, has lost its £2.9million, while volleyball, although represented by £400,000 for the women's beach game, has lost nearly all of its £3.5million.
Men's handball captain Bobby White has been particularly critical of the decision, but Nicoll responded by saying: "These sports have had a fantastic opportunity for the last seven years to showcase their sports.
"Bobby was selected through a talent scheme and he has done fantastic to move his sport on, but as he has said himself, they were unlikely to qualify for Rio, let alone medal.
"It is easy to focus on the negatives when there are such a lot of positives.
"We all remember the fantastic success in London, 42 of 45 sports have been funded, and not many nations have been able to say that."
Not all team sports have been hit in the pocket - hockey was given a rise of £400,000 after the women took the bronze medal.
"It's one medal but more medalists and the great thing is, they can come out in their communities and inspire youngsters," Nicoll said.
England Hockey is to benefit from the increase, and it said in a statement this morning: "The investment made by Sport England and UK Sport will underpin England Hockey's 2013-2017 strategy 'A Nation where Hockey Matters', which will be launched early in 2013.
"We are delighted that England Hockey will receive over £27.5m in funding from Sport England and UK Sport collectively over the next four years."
Sitting volleyball player Martine Wright, a survivor of the 7/7 bombings, hopes private investors could be the answer after UK Sport's decision to cut all funding to the sport.
The Paralympian, who won the Helen Rollason Award for outstanding achievement in the face of adversity at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards on Sunday, is refusing to give up on the London 2012 legacy.
Wright lost both legs in the 2005 attacks on London and is adamant sitting volleyball should not disappear following the home Games.
"The exposure of sitting volleyball, especially after the summer, has been huge, and we've got so many people interested in it," Wright told Sky Sports News.
"I think we've got to go out and find our own funding. I'm sure there are a lot of private investors out there who would love to invest in us.
"The advantage of sitting volleyball is that we don't need a lot of equipment. We need a net, we need a ball our bottoms and lots of enthusiasm so we've got to look at things positively.
"Yes, the funding has been cut, but we have worked so hard in the last two and a half years that this is not the last you have seen of sitting volleyball.
"It might seem that some of these sports including sitting volleyball have just been created for the Paralympics in London but this is all our lives. It's a dream, this is my dream so we're so determined for the programme to carry on and it will carry on in January and we will be on that path to Rio."
Hello, regular commenting on Orange News and Sport pages closes on Thursday 30 May 2013. We will continue to provide a commenting facility on major news and sport events on orangeworld.co.uk. Contact us via http://oran.ge/OWfeedback if you have any further questions. Thanks.