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Performance squad athlete Dan Bethell funded for Tokyo 2020 Olympics

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Press release issued: 2 February 2018

On Thursday 1st February 2018 it was announced that Dan Bethell, who has been a member of the University's Performance Sport Squad for 4 years, will receive UK Sport funding to support his journey to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

The generous grant from UK Sport will allow him to split his time between training in Sheffield with the GB para-badminton team, and his postgraduate studies at the University of Bristol, as well as providing valuable financial support for training and competition costs. 

UK Sport are investing £960,000 into the Para-Badminton programme, which will make its debut at the Paralympics in Tokyo in 2020. As well as Para-Badminton, UK Sport will also invest £630,000 in the able-bodied Badminton programme after it changed its stance on the withdrawal of Olympic funding in 2016.  Badminton was one of five sports to lose all funding for the next Olympic and Paralympic cycle, a decision which caused an outcry after the success of Rio 2016.

A talented and inspiring member of the squad, European Champion Dan is ranked 1st in the England Para-Badminton team.  He is currently studying at Bristol for a postgraduate LLM in International Commercial Law.

University of Bristol's Performance Sport Manager Matt Paine says of the announcement:

"This is fantastic news for Dan and also a reprieve the Badminton community, who have had to face some trying times with cuts to funding in the past couple of years. We've no doubt that Dan has the potential to bring a medal home from Tokyo and we'll be doing everything we can to support him on his journey."

Dan says:

"It’s amazing news and a momentous announcement for GB Para-Badminton and my own career. Since I started competing in Para-Badminton events, I have been predominantly self-funded as well as receiving grants from various sources, such as the University of Bristol’s Vice Chancellor and Lloyd Robinson scholarships. The limited nature of this funding has made it difficult at times to travel to competitions that I needed to attend. To not have to worry about finances for training and competitions is fantastic, and means I can now purely focus on becoming the best player I can and fulfil my dream of competing at the Paralympic games.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the amazing staff and athletes of the University of Bristol’s Badminton Club and Performance Squad. Without their unwavering support, I would not be in the position I am today!"