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British Surfing is awarded Aspiration Grant funding

Surfing, skateboarding and climbing are among the 14 sports to have have received investment from UK Sport's new £3m Aspiration Fund.

The fund, launched in October, has been designed to help support smaller sports – those which do not receive full UK Sport funding – with their ambitions to qualify and prepare for Tokyo 2020.

The list includes archery, artistic swimming, badminton, beach volleyball, climbing, fencing, goalball, karate, softball, table tennis, weightlifting and wheelchair rugby.

The decision to launch the new fund is widely seen as a softening of the elite sport body's “no compromise” approach, under which only sports with an expectation of winning a medal at Olympic or Paralympic Games receive support.

Grants from the Aspiration Fund are capped at £500,000 for team sports and £275,000 for individual sports while they will run to the end of the Tokyo 2020 cycle.

"The Aspiration Fund is a fantastic opportunity for these athletes and sports to get on track for the Tokyo Games," said Liz Nicholl, UK Sport CEO.

“Many of the sports we are currently unable to support, whilst further away from reaching the podium, have the potential not only to inspire through their performances on the field of play but also to inspire new audiences to engage in sport and activity.

“We’d like to thank the Government for their continued support for UK Sport’s mission to inspire the nation through Olympic and Paralympic success.”

Outside the funding offered for the 14 sports, there will be a further £118,496 held by UK Sport, which will be allocated at a later date to help sports to attend qualification events "where appropriate".

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