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Beverly Oden

Britain Pulls Plug on Volleyball

By December 19, 2012

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After the first ever appearance in an Olympic Games by the British volleyball team, the decision has been made to cut the sport's funding entirely along with that of basketball and handball. Apparently UK Sport, which finances elite athletics in the Great Britain has decided to focus on the sports they think they can win. According to them, volleyball is not one of them.

Though they were heinously underfunded in the last quad, Great Britain did manage to scrape together a few teams to take the floor. They automatically qualified for the London Olympics due to being the host country. The indoor men's team finished in last place, losing every single set they played. But there were some bright spots. The women actually won a five set match against Algeria and finished tied for 9th place ahead of both Algeria and Serbia.

Nonetheless the party is over before it even started. Despite an 11% increase in overall funding,  UK Sport says it wants to concentrate on the sports it feels have more of a chance to medal in Brazil. But even some of the ones it already excels at like swimming and boxing were put on notice that they need to do better or make changes if they want to see their funding continue.

So what may have seemed like the beginning of a new era for British volleyball has been cut off at the knees. It's a shame considering that Great Britain could and should be a great place for a solid volleyball program. Now it's up to those who love and care about volleyball to continue to bite and scratch to try to keep it alive. A sad, but familiar story in our sport.


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