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Without National Lottery funding, I would never have made it at the top level: Sir Chris Hoy

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Sir Chris Hoy says National Lottery funding was crucial to helping him win his medals

Sir Chris Hoy says National Lottery funding was crucial to helping him win his medals

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Sir Chris Hoy says National Lottery funding was crucial to helping him win his medals

Sir Chris Hoy insists that without funding from the National Lottery, he would not have become one of the most successful sports stars in UK history.

In a spectacular career Scotland’s Hoy was a World Champion 11 times, Olympic champion on six occasions and a Commonwealth Games champion twice. Gold wasn’t his only colour either, as he also won numerous silver and bronze medals.

Like Hoy when he was competing, Northern Ireland athletes at this year’s Commonwealth Games have reaped the benefits of being funded to help them prepare for Birmingham.

“I wouldn’t have any Olympic or Commonwealth gold medals if the National Lottery funding hadn’t been there, because it happened at just the right time for me,” said Hoy.

“I left university in 1999 and the funding started that year, so it meant that I didn’t have to get a full-time job and I could go straight into full-time cycling. It meant that I had enough money to pay my rent, to pay for my food and travel.

“We had a coach for the first time. It basically transformed from being a completely amateur setup with volunteers to having the tools to do the job to get the results that you were hoping for.

“You can’t overstate not just for myself, but for the whole of British sport how important that decision to properly fund sport in the UK was.

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“It was massive and it suddenly went from being a pipe dream about doing well to being a possibility. We’ve got no excuses now.

“Beforehand you had excuses because you didn’t have the facilities, you didn’t have the coaching, you didn’t have the bikes and you didn’t have any of the knowledge of how to train to become the best.

“It’s not that money buys you medals, but money gives you the opportunity and it gives you the chance to do the job.”

◊National Lottery players raise more than £30million a week for good causes including vital funding into sport – from grassroots to elite. Find out how your numbers make amazing happen at: www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk and get involved by using the hashtag: #TNLAthletes.


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