UK Sport has launched a national squads support fund with the aim of supporting the development of credible national teams in several sports.
UK Sport said £2.4 million ($3.3 million/€2.8 million) will be invested into six Olympic and two Paralympic sports initially, with the funding body expecting that this will have an impact on over 100 athletes that would otherwise not have received support.
The fund is aimed at helping athletes to attend major international championships and access other events that form the critical path to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
UK Sport confirmed the sports of handball, sitting volleyball and water polo will each receive up to £375,000 ($521,000/€441,000), while volleyball and wrestling can receive £260,000 ($361,000/€306,000).
Artistic swimming is set to receive £216,250 ($300,000/€254,000) with goalball and softball given £345,000 ($479,000/€406,000) and £288,750 ($401,000/€340,000), respectively.
"The national squads support fund is a key part of our new investment approach and demonstrates our commitment to a wider group of sports and athletes in our Olympic and Paralympic high-performance community," said Sally Munday, UK Sport chief executive.
"We are investing in a longer-term, holistic view of success, powering a broader range of sports, champions and medallists, built on the highest standards of integrity and partnership.
"Thanks to the ongoing support of the Government and The National Lottery, it is really pleasing to be confirming these eight summer Olympic and Paralympic sports set to benefit from the national squads support fund.
"This is an important contribution for the athletes and sports involved, and we are looking forward to working with these eight sports and watching their progress as a result."
#GoalballFamily🔵💙— Goalball UK (@GoalballUK) March 31, 2021
Goalball UK have been awarded £245,000 as part of the @uk_sport Sport National Squads Support Fund! Thereby allowing our GB teams to continue the amazing progress they have made over the last four years!
Read more ⬇️ https://t.co/kvAqhSviMF
The national squads support fund is available to summer Olympic and Paralympic sports that did not receive UK Sport’s world class programme or progression funding as part of the December investment process through to Paris 2024 and beyond.
UK Sport added that it is currently in discussions with breaking, following the sport being added to the Paris 2024 Olympic programme.
The sport can now be considered for an investment from the national squads support fund.
Paul Bray, British Handball chairman, has welcomed confirmation of the funding.
"This funding is a significant moment for our sport and everyone at British Handball is hugely grateful to UK Sport for recognising the need to support sports such as handball going forward," Bray said.
"This financial support adds to that which we gratefully receive from the International Handball Federation (IHF) and is absolutely crucial in securing our sport at the elite level, providing the pathway and platform for our athletes, coaches and staff to represent Britain at the highest level."