March 22 - Olympic silver medallist Alan Pascoe, the former vice-chairman of London 2012, has labelled critics who want UK Sport to change how it funds British sport as "crazy".
The Government agency, which distributes National Lottery money to Britain's Olympic and Paralympic sports, has come under fire recently for its tough "no compromise" approach which means they will only fund governing bodies which they believe have a realistic chance of winning medals.
Several sports, most notably basketball, synchronised swimming and water polo, lost appeals earlier this week against a decision by UK Sport to cut their funding in the build-up to Rio 2016.
"Sport is crazy to criticise the governing body UK Sport for not supporting certain sports which stand little chance of winning medals," Pascoe, a member of Britain's 4x400 metres relay team that won silver medals at Munich 1972, told insidethegames.
"They have a clear brief and are doing really well to execute it.
"The UK Sport 'bashing' is dangerous for sport funding."
Since National Lottery funding was introduced in 1997 to help British sport to prepare for the Olympics and Paralympics, Team GB have become one of the leading nations in the world.
At Atlanta 1996 Britain finished 36th overall in the medals table, behind Greece, Ireland and North Korea, winning only one gold medal thanks to Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent in rowing's coxless pairs.
At London 2012 Britain finished third overall behind only the United States and China with a total of 65 medals, 29 of them gold.
"People are trying to fix something that isn't broken," Pascoe told insidethegames.
Pascoe is one of Britain's most influential sport marketeers who recently stepped down as President of CSM, the company where former London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe is executive chairman.
He believes that, instead of changing how UK Sport distribute National Lottery money, the Government need to make changes to how sport is funded below the elite level, particularly in schools.
"In most cases it's the sports themselves that need to look at their own structures and achievements," he said.
"The pressure should be on Government to address the new funding for two key areas:
"The 'wannabe' sports where their aspiration is to be in the UK Sport programme, or those that have been dropped from the programme and need to get back.
"It's here the issue of team sports also needs to be addressed.
"Most of these sports need to look at how they are managed and how the different elements, international/clubs/grassroots interact - or not - and that in future they are much better managed and are coordinated.
"Secondly, grassroots needs to be a clear definition between recreation, and children at school.
"A clear coordinated programme for those in Primary School, the 60 per cent of whom who are classed as 'physically illiterate, being introduced to activity in an enjoyable way, learning coordination skills, being fitter, etc.
"Plus a better supported school sport programme at secondary level where many of the school sports associations are very fragile, despite doing a fantastic job.
"The clubs need to be more closely involved in school sports programme
"Volunteers are crucial to this whole process.
"More support is needed for bodies, such as, Sports Leaders, Youth Sport Trust, Sported."
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