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Lottery Players Help Fuel Team GB’s Olympic Success

Last Updated: Wednesday 17th August 2016, 09:57 am

Team GB are enjoying their most successful Olympic Games on foreign soil to date thanks to the superhuman efforts of athletes like Jason Kenny, Laura Trott and Mo Farah. As impressive as their performances may be, National Lottery players deserve some of the credit for helping the members of Team GB achieve their accomplishments.

Prior to the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, the UK government reportedly spent a mere £5 million on sports funding, a tight-fisted approach that saw the country finish in a humiliating 36th place on the medals table and leave the US with just 15 medalists, with only one of those being gold. However, thanks an increase in sports funding through National Lottery ticket sales, Britain’s medal haul has improved significantly ever since. The rebuilding work began in Sydney at the start of the new millennium, as UK Sport reaped the rewards of £54 million worth of funding. This saw Team GB rocket up the table, eventually finishing in tenth with 28 medals. The climb steadily continued in Athens and Beijing, until hitting a veritable gold rush in both London and Rio that has left the nation in a state of euphoria.  

Every time a lottery ticket is purchased, a percentage of the money from that sale is used to help support sport in Britain. Funding generated from the National Lottery allows the country’s top athletes to gain access  to the very best coaching and facilities available, as well as being able to train on a full time basis. Following the success of Team GB’s athletes in London four years ago, and their continued triumphs in Rio, directors of a number of sporting disciplines have hailed the funding received from the National Lottery.

Sir Dave Brailsford, former Performance Director of British Cycling and an integral part of Britain’s Olympic progress since 1997, is a massive supporter of the funding supplied by the National Lottery: "Little of what we have achieved at British Cycling would have been possible without the help of the Lottery-playing public. The British cyclists who have won medals over the past 14 years have earned their success with hard work, dedication and some heartache. But all of them have been supported by Lottery funding. The simple act of buying a Lottery ticket has transformed sport in this country.”

Former Olympian Sir Chris Hoy is equally as grateful for all of the funding supplied. Speaking to the National Lottery about the support ticket holders provide, the six-time gold medal winner said: "The National Lottery has transformed the way sport is funded in the UK. Thanks to you doing your bit, athletes have a chance to train and compete on a level playing field with other nations around the world and it’s made a huge difference to the success of the British team."

So, as you purchase your ticket ahead of this evening’s Lotto draw and set your sights on the £2 million jackpot, or throw your hat in the ring for Friday’s £47 million EuroMillions jackpot, remember that you are helping to make Britain's Olympic success possible. Lottery tickets can be bought online or from any authorised retailer. Good luck and keep cheering on Team GB!

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