Team GB won a lot of gold medals at the recent Olympics. But the cost?
According to UK Sport, we spent £543 million. And what was this spent on? ENTIRELY on getting medals at the Olympics. "Success is measured by the medals won, the number of medallists
developed, and the quality of the systems and processes in place to find
and support the nation’s most promising future champions."
We're spending this money on the top athletes in the UK. None of this is spent on community sport. None of this is spent in schools. "UK Sport has a very clear remit at the ‘top end’ of Britain’s sporting
pathway, with no direct involvement in community or school sport." They are "tasked with distributing Government and National Lottery funding to
Olympic and Paralympic National Governing Bodies at the GB level"
It's all spent in an effort to win more Olympic medals, and this helps to explain why the UK did so well (in terms of medals) at Rio. Cheating? Not really. But not exactly in the spirit of Olympic sport.
And we've done so badly, in terms of where this money could have gone.
I have no problem with cyclists or runners racing each other (but please not on public roads closed for their benefit). But I do have a problem with a few of our top athletes getting lavish funding out of the taxation that HMRC extracts from me.
Because although much shouting is given to the fact that lottery money is wasted on this; there's less shouting about the fact that money from HMRC gets poured into this hole.
So where could it be spent instead?
How about schools? How about the wider community? The health benefits of sport are heavily touted, but if those health benefits are poured into about a thousand elite athletes, they probably won't gain much, they being pretty healthy already. Instead, what about ploughing it into facilities for the wider (and fatter) population? And for our obese children?
Circuses. It's just circuses, and no bread, either,