Elite sports performance


Our sporting success in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was partly the result of a system that nurtures outstanding talent from an early age.

We want to continue to identify our best athletes and and help them train, give them more opportunities to compete in the UK before the next Olympic and Paralympic Games, and make sure that UK elite sport continues to be free from doping.


We are:

  • funding UK Sport, the national high performance sports agency, to help elite athletes achieve their potential
  • bringing major sporting events to the UK
  • working to prevent the use of drugs in sport
  • improving the governance structures of sport in the UK to make sports bodies more transparent and accountable
  • funding the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) to set guidelines and carry out inspections that make sports grounds safer


Team GB’s performance has improved as a direct result of our investment in elite sports in the last 20 years. We rose from 10th place and 28 medals in Sydney 2000 to 3rd place and 65 medals, including 29 gold, at London 2012 - our biggest gold medal haul since 1908.

The Paralympic movement started in the UK, and we have a long tradition of making sure disabled sportspeople have access to high quality training and development.

We have invested nearly £175 million in training elite disabled sportspeople since Sydney 2000 and to Rio 2016, including the Vancouver and Sochi Winter Games. Thanks in part to this investment, our ParalympicsGB athletes have finished within the top 3 places in the medal table at the last 2 Paralympic Games.

Total funding for UK Sport ahead of Rio 2016 will be £335 million, up from the £265 million provided to support athletes ahead of the Beijing Games in 2008.

Between 2010 and 2012, we changed the amount of money that went from the National Lottery into the original ‘good causes’ of arts, heritage and sport. This meant that the proportion of National Lottery money going toward sport increased from 16.66% to 20%.