HANDBALL and volleyball officials today vowed to carry on their programmes to try to make their sports competitive for London 2012 despite facing an uncertain future.
They were yesterday two of eight Olympic sports and disciplines left not knowing how much funding they will receive in the build-up to London 2009.
UK Sport distributed £292 million in funding to Olympic and Paralympic sports but because of a £50 million shortfall did not announce anything for handball or volleyball.
It is a particular blow to both because, as even UK Sport acknowledged, they have made tremendous strides since London was awarded the 2012 Olympics three-and-a-half years ago despite the sports having little history in Britain.
In handball, a group of players have been recruited and are now being hot-housed at an academy in Denmark, funded by the £2.9 million UK Sport awarded to the British Handball Association three years ago.
That money is due to run out in March 2009 and UK Sport are planning urgent talks with British Handball to establish what action can be taken.
Chris Spice, the chairman of British Handball's performance management group, said: "Obviously we're very disappointed not to have had funding confirmed, as the programme has made significant progress in the last two years and the commitment shown by the athletes and coaches has been exceptional.
"We now need to work hard with UK Sport to identify other sources of income to ensure our future."
The British Volleyball Federation (BVF) has also promised that it will continue its work towards London 2012 despite also being left hanging a funding decision.
Richard Callicott, the BVF president, expressed his disappointment and astonishment that British Volleyball have no confirmed funding for its indoor, beach and sitting volleyball programmes in preparation for London 2012
He said: “We have no indication of the level of funding we will receive and what that level will be.
"As a result this leaves the sport in limbo with regard to implementing the next stages of development.
“However, we are still fully committed to the goals we have set.
"We have hit and surpassed our performance targets to date and we will continue to improve and meet challenges as we progress through to 2012.
“The commitment of our athletes, coaches, administration and support staff has been exceptional and has resulted in unprecedented developments for the sport.
“We have no indication as to why we have not received a funding decision at this point.
"No performance rationale has been provided so we are perplexed as to why some sports have been given an answer and Volleyball’s decision has been deferred.”
The BVF are based at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield, which is home to the British indoor squads and are due to host the men’s and women’s World Championship first round games, January 2–4 2009.