Kirsty Gilmour: UK Sport’s Badminton Funding Cut is Disheartening

 Scottish badminton star, Kirsty Glimour, admits it’s been a ‘pretty scary’ time living in financial uncertainty, but with the help of Sport Scotland she can continue the dream of winning more medals.

Gilmour has revealed UK Sport’s decision to cut badminton funds dealt her a blow and believes it will make it more difficult for future players to compete at the highest level. She said:

“It was a bit of an uncertain time.  I went from having an income I could depend on to nothing, forcing me to rely on my tournament results. To not have the support and funding to reach your goals is kind of disheartening that they [UK Sport] don’t feel like you’re worthy of supporting.”

The ruling to stop funding came back in February, along with cuts to six other sports including table tennis and archery.

Fortunately, for Glimour, Sport Scotland were prepared to back her financially. She added:

“Sport Scotland have been so supportive and stepped in to fill the gap which I really appreciate.  It goes a long way and allows me to focus 100% on training everyday. Now I have found some stability again.”

Currently positioned as Scotland’s best female badminton player, with honours including silver medals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and two different European Championships, the funds she receives ensures Glimour is still able to compete at the top level.

Over three quarters of a million people play badminton in the UK, but now fears are growing that youngsters will avoid the sport as the cost of reaching the pinnacle will rise.

The Hamilton ace was speaking ahead of her appearance at the Scottish Open Grand Prix in the coming weeks.  Glimour goes into the tournament as top seed with hopes of going one better than her runner up place in 2015:

“I’ve played some of my best badminton this year. Any opportunity to play in front of a home crowd is special, and I’ve got a pretty good track record of performing well so I’m just going to use all that experience and see what happens this year.”

Scottish Open Grand Prix at Emirates Arena – Nov 22-26th

 Tickets available here.

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