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Badminton's Tokyo challenge receives Aspiration Fund award

English badminton’s title winning year on the sport’s World Tour has been richly rewarded this morning with the award of £260,000 from the new government backed Aspiration Fund to further support ambition for Tokyo 2020.

The award represents the full amount that Badminton England chose to bid for and will be wisely invested into giving our players the best possible chance of qualifying for Team GB at 2020 Olympic Games.

The investment will enhance the global tournament schedules of our players, increasing opportunities to win vital world ranking points, during Olympic qualifying year, starting May 2019.

It will also revamp sport science and medicine services to help keep players fit for action during a demanding and challenging 12 months of intense competition.

Badminton England CEO Adrian Christy said “I am delighted with the award badminton has received from the Aspiration Fund.

Despite the decision made by UK Sport not to invest in our 2020 Olympic programme, we have remained focused on giving our players every opportunity to qualify, and medal, in Tokyo in two years time.

The successes on court during that period, and the potential we have for the next Games, has seen us now secure just under £1m from UK Sport and together with the amazing support from our partners, members and fans, we have been able to ensure our players remain on track for future success.”

As part of the badminton bid, the England squad will also play an increased role in growing the sport both from a profile and participation base building on its already significant popularity where 1m people play badminton regularly.

Badminton’s award is the third highest made within the Aspiration Fund and is one of fourteen Olympic and Paralympic sports to have received investment from the new £3m Aspiration Fund to help support their ambitions for Tokyo 2020.

The other sports to benefit are archery, artistic swimming, beach volleyball, climbing, fencing, goalball, karate, skateboarding, softball, surfing, table tennis, weightlifting and wheelchair rugby.

Adrian Christy added “It is another reminder that Every Sport Matters.  The announcements give the unfunded sports a real shot at making the nation proud with performances and podium places in Tokyo.  To see the ‘Every Sport Matters’ collective receive such an investment from the Aspiration Fund is a brilliant outcome and one that shows that through sport working together big things can be achieved.