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Baseball: World Cup 2009

Volume 487: debated on Thursday 29 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps (a) he and (b) Sport England have taken to ensure that the UK baseball team can compete in the 2009 World Cup; and if he will make a statement. (251019)

[holding answer 26 January 2009]: The issue of the GB national baseball team competing in the 2009 World Cup is a matter for UK Sport not Sport England, as Sport England does not lead or fund baseball's elite programme.

On March 10, 2008 the Secretary of State approved Sport England's outline strategy to focus resources on building the foundations of sporting success through the creation of a world leading community sports system. One of the key outcomes of this system is the development of well-defined, appropriate talent support systems to underpin NGB—national governing body—elite programmes, resulting in more talented performers moving through to world class programmes and success.

Sport England has recently announced four year funding awards to 46 national governing bodies, including the sports of baseball and softball. Sport England has advised that they will be meeting with the sport imminently to discuss the award, which interventions will be funded and to agree how the sport will contribute to Sport England's strategic outcomes, such as the above, over the next four years.

UK Sport has advised that its current investment strategy does not provide funding to baseball and has therefore made no estimate of the cost of sending a British baseball team to the final 2008 Olympics qualification event in Taiwan. The sport will not receive world class funding in the future as it is not on the competition programme for London 2012.