Holly in blast at handball cash cut

BURNLEY Olympian Holly Lam-Moores says she is ‘devastated’ after funding for handball was cut completely by UK Sport.

Lam-Moores was one of the local stars of London 2012 and it was hoped that the sport, also played by Rossendalian star Ciaran Williams, would be boosted in popularity as a result.

But Team GB’s future is in doubt after the decision yesterday.

While swimming was the major casualty in yesterday’s funding announcement for the four years leading up to Rio 2016 after it returned just three medals at London 2012, handball and basketball lost all funding.

And a deeply disappointed Lam-Moores said: “I am devastated.

“We inspired a generation this summer but now unable to capitalise on that.

“It’s a sad, sad day for most GB team sports.”

There was good news for athletics, cycling, rowing, boxing and gymnastics in the record pot of £347million but reductions for swimming and volleyball as well as the cuts.

Team GB did better on the athletics track than expected with the highlights including gold medal performances from Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and Greg Rutherford and this has been reflected in their funding.

UKA Performance Director, Neil Black, said of the announcement: “We’re very pleased to receive the increased levels of support across both Olympic and Paralympic performance programmes.

“The investment in athletics reflects the progress made over the last four years and demonstrates confidence in our plans for the next Games cycle.”

British Basketball described the decision to cut its funding totally as “devastating” and a “waste” of previous investment.

Performance chairman, Roger Moreland, said: “We knew the criteria that UK Sport were applying for Rio, but having been funded to the tune of £8.5m in the lead up to London because of the sport’s medal potential for the future, this is a devastating decision and is a waste of investment.

“Over the last five years, the GB teams have done the equivalent of going from League Two in football to the Premier League. They have been competing with the very best countries in the world. It doesn’t seem much of a legacy to dash the hopes and aspirations of a sport whose heartland is founded in inner cities.”

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