Kirsty Gilmour says badminton cuts will cost her £30,000 a year

By Phil GoodladBBC Scotland
Kirsty Gilmour
Kirsty Gilmour: "All I want to do is concentrate on playing badminton"

Kirsty Gilmour says UK Sport's decision to withdraw its funding for badminton over the next Olympic cycle will cost her nearly £30,000 a year.

Badminton Scotland has called for government intervention after UK Sport confirmed funding cuts to seven sports.

Appeals against the cuts for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic cycle were rejected by UK Sport.

"I don't want to have to worry about where my next pay cheque is coming from," Gilmour told BBC Scotland.

GB Badminton received £5.7m for the Rio Olympics and Paralympics and met its target of winning a medal.

Gilmour, who was part of the elite programme for 2016 Olympics, has told BBC Scotland she is having to explore different ways of meeting the cost of training and travelling to compete in Tokyo.

"It [the cost] is somewhere between £25,000 - £30,000 a year," she said. "All I want to do is concentrate on playing badminton. I'm going to have to split my focus and am trying to go down the private sponsorship route.

'Motivation to prove you wrong'

"It's a bit disheartening that they [UK Sport] don't have faith in the current players and the young players coming up. But this could provide players with a motivation to prove you wrong. Unfortunately, though, it's a catch-22 situation. We can't do it without the money but we want to do it even more now."

Badminton Scotland, which will continue to financially support Gilmour, fears it could hamper her career, among others.

"It is is a major set-back to the sport and the government should intervene to overturn it," said chief executive Anne Smillie.

"Kirsty's situation shows the impact from a Scottish perspective," she added.

"She is a Commonwealth Games and European Championships silver medallist who reached a world ranking of 15 to qualify for the Rio Olympics.

"Her goal was to continue her development and mount a serious challenge for a medal in Tokyo.

"To do this she had a personal award from UK Sport to allow her to train full time and a competition budget to allow her to compete all over the world to gain the necessary points.

"All of this has now been taken away yet Kirsty's costs associated with training every day and competing around 20 times a year all over the world must still be met."

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