Redgrave wants more funding for Winter sports practised on home soil

Sir Steve Redgrave wants the Winter Olympic sports that can be practised on home soil to receive a greater allocation of funding. Credit: PA

Sir Steve Redgrave wants the Winter Olympic sports that can be practised on home soil to receive a greater allocation of funding.

Team GB won five medals last month at the Pyeongchang Games in South Korea, three in the skeleton, including Lizzy Yarnold's gold, and one apiece in the ski slopestyle and snowboard Big Air.

UK Sport, the funding partner of Olympic and Paralympic sport, provided over £28million in backing over the four-year circle, with the disciplines of skeleton, curling, ski and snowboard, and bobsleigh each receiving £5million or more.

Due to the British conditions, much of the training for those sports takes place away from the United Kingdom, and Redgrave, a rowing gold medallist at five successive summer Olympics with a background in bobsleigh, thinks there should be more focus on disciplines that can be picked up and honed in Britain.

"It's always very difficult when you're funding programmes at an elite level, especially when you've got to travel to be able to do it," he told Press Association Sport from Monaco, where he was appearing as an ambassador for Laureus.

"Most of the summer sports we can do in the UK and you develop from school kids, from clubs and work your way up, whereas something like skeleton, bobsleigh, luge, the alpine skiing events, we're not brought up on a mountain, we're not going to have that opportunity.

"There is a very strong argument that we should be concentrating on sports that we can do at home.

"We're not an alpine nation, why are we putting so much money into sports? Holland were fifth on the medal table, they certainly don't have any mountains. We do have winter resorts.

"But there should be something (so) that we can develop sports where more mass people can get involved, that widen the base. If you widen the base of people having a go at a sport, the chances are you're going to get people more in depth at the top end of the pyramid.

"In some ways the money should be concentrated on more of those sports that we could do.

"We're very good at curling, we didn't medal this time (but had) the silver and bronze last time around. We could have more curling, more volume of people involved in that. Every four years the British people, it catches their imagination but it's still not being developed.

"Let's spend money on sports at winter Games that we can potentially be good at, and have a lot more people involved in."

While almost £30million was dedicated to the Winter Olympics, basketball receives no financial assistance from UK Sport despite being one of Britain's biggest participation sports.