Why is Paula Radcliffe getting Lottery funding at all?

Paula Radcliffe is likely to be among the British athletes who miss out on Lottery funding for next season when UK Athletics announces a reduced list of competitors on Monday.


Why is she getting a penny of it at all?

I can just about understand (although oppose) the idea that skint athletes might get a bit to aid them in being able to compete. But why in hell is a multi-millionairess getting any of it?

17 thoughts on “Why is Paula Radcliffe getting Lottery funding at all?”

  1. Because a new government department full of lazy and incompetent civil servants for means-testing athletes would cost more than just funding them all?

  2. @ The Stigler
    Presumably the couple of hundred thousand who enter or apply to enter for the places not reserved for charity fund-raisers and the few million who watch…

  3. Warren can haz points. Hell, she’s paying hundreds of thousands a year in compulsory tax every year; who gives a flying fuck whether she gets a proportion of voluntary idiot tax revenue?

  4. Why did you move to Monaco?

    For a variety of reasons. I was attracted to the better weather, I do altitude training in the Pyrenees, which is easy to reach from here, and I also wanted to bring my kids up to be bilingual, which I think is a big advantage in the modern world.

    Also, I found it too distressing to stay in England after what happened in Athens – I felt like I’d let the country down. I decided I didn’t want to live somewhere where I was recognised all the time.

    There were also some tax advantages because there is no personal tax in Monaco. But if you earn more than 25 per cent of your money outside the country you still have to pay the going rate in whatever country you are paid. Still I’m glad I’m not living in England paying a 50 per cent top rate!


  5. Elsewhere in her Telegraph interview from 2009 which MadNumismatist picked up:

    “Last year I bought an antigravity treadmill called the G-trainer for £35,000…”

  6. Tim

    Fucking lazy again. Radcliffe does not get lottery funding. Athletes are “means tested” and as a multi-millionair living in Monaco she does not qualify. The only help she recieves (and entitled to) is medical treatment from the British team staff. Apart from that she gets zip.

  7. Slightly off topic but:

    Radcliffe, 39, missed the London Games through injury and did not compete either at the World Championships in Daegu in 2011.

    The former world 800 metres bronze medallist Jenny Meadows may also miss out. She was not selected for the Olympics and missed the entire 2012 season due to injury. ”

    Can we please dump the idea sport = healthy

    It doesn’t

  8. @BIS
    NO. Although people who overtrain may get “injured” (which usually means straining a muscle or a tendon, not breaking a bone), there is a massive amount of evidence that those who indulge in sport are healthier than those who do not. A few years ago some tabloid journalist went on about the risk of suffering a heart attack while running a marathon – a simple check showed that the age-adjusted mortality rate during the London marathon (over all the years that it had been run) was below the population average – people died at a faster rate sitting on their sofas or lying in bed than running marathons; more recently the Royal Statistical Society published an analysis showing that the chance of dying in a marathon or half-marathon was less than being struck by lightning. Forty years ago there was a stadard example that golfers had lower mortality rates.
    OK healthy and low mortality rates are not quite the same but there’s lots of evidence that I can’t quote off the top of my head that taking part in sport improves general health, jogging alleviates asthma, obesity is the current greatest health problem in the UK (let alone the USA) ….

  9. Regarding exercise being good for you: the evidence is overwhelming for this one. But training for elite-level competition involves pushing your body to its limits; you can easily get injured doing that.

    Regarding Radcliffe’s funding:
    According to the Guardian:

    Radcliffe had been on podium-level funding, the highest level of Lottery support, which runs from around £13,000 to £26,000 and is in addition to non-financial help like access to coaches, facilities, medical staff and training camps.

  10. Well you do seem to have pulled out every excuse in the sports apologists primer there, John.
    A trained muscle or tendon is still detrimental to health irrespective if it’s an athlete overtraining or a bloater over-reaching for the channel change. And sports injuries do seem to be common enough to have an entire branch of medicine devoted to them.
    “people died at a faster rate sitting on their sofas or lying in bed than running marathons” Well there are rather a lot more people encouched than running marathons.
    ” obesity is the current greatest health problem in the UK ” Made up bollocks.
    An individual who takes regular exercise will enjoy better health. No argument. But there’s no evidence taking that exercise via sport provides any added benefit whatsoever. Conversely it exposes the participant to sports related injuries.
    More particular to Tim’s original post. Professional sports participents are part of the entertainment industry. Some have earings comparable with the more obvious parts of that industry. La Raddcliffe for example. Why she should also need subsidising is a mystery.

  11. @ bis
    (i) No I haven’t
    (ii) Sports injuries are less common than RSI for typists and people typing stuff into computers, like you and I but there is a “branch of medicine” devoted to them because some mugs are willing to pay for it, whereas treatment for RSI is charged to the NHS
    (iii) That sort of lie is typical of people who know that they have lost the argument – you are not even being selective with data, you are saying that the data means the opposite. THE FREQUENCY = LIKELIHOOD OF DEATH IS HIGHER IF YOU SPEND YOUR TIME SITTING ON THE SOFA THAN IF YOU TACKLE A MARATHON THE HIGHEST-RISK RACE. Can you read that?
    (iv) I don’t think Paula Radcliffe needs lottery funding and have never said that I do. My local super-star actually had to pay his own expenses when he ran for England.
    (v) If it’s made-up bollocks complain to the NHS, not to me
    (vi) I quoted you a standard example of the reported benefits to health of a gentle sport. You want to challenge it – accuse the Institute of Actuaries of lying and get crushed: this was a side-effect of one of the biggest scientific analyses of mortality and its causes in human history.
    As to Tim’s original point, which I have not previously discussed: the ’50s and ’60s showed that Eastern block athletes, whose lives were centred around training had a major advantage over British athletes who had to fit training around earning a living. Even choosing what time of day to train and what time to work makes a significant difference (as I found out when I tried to keep going after I graduated). Lottery funding would not be my choice and clearly is not enough to level the playing field as the left-wing tabloids have pointed out since the minority funded by their parents to attend public schools are heavily over-represented in national athletics teams. Paula Radcliffe no longer needs funding but it is possible that (I do not know) funding did/would have helped before she became famous. I don’t know so not going to discuss that.
    It is my personal view that if we minimised government interference, sports fans could support sport as they did when I was young although average income was less than half current levels (I do contribute to my favourite sports in lieu of buying lottery tickets).

  12. Just on the “people die at a faster rate on their sofas than running marathons”, that’s not really a fair sample *even if* you mean per person per hour.

    If you have a medical condition (for the sake of this argument, excluding obesity-related ones) with a decent chance of killing you in the short-to-medium term, then you’re unlikely to spend much time running marathons, and likely to spend more time than most people on the sofa.

    As someone who’s fit-ish-but-not-very, if I were to spend five hours on the sofa and my hypothetical identical twin brother were to spend five hours (no Paul Ryan-esque claims here!) running a marathon, he would certainly have a higher chance of dying during that period than I would.

  13. ”obesity is the current greatest health problem in the UK ” Made up bollocks.

    My guess is that smoking (still) is the biggest (avoidable) health problem, and obesity is second.

    However, it’s possible that it’s actually lack of exercise that’s the real problem, not obesity itself.

    Incidentally, marathon-running isn’t a form of exercise to be recommended on health grounds alone. Half marathons are a better idea.

  14. @ john b
    It isn’t running the marathon that would improve the health of your hypothetical twin brother – it would be the training that he did for several weeks or months prior to that.
    @ PaulB
    IMHO the dangers of smoking (and the near-miraculous overnight benefits of ceasing) are exaggerated by the anti-smoking campaigners but in any case the number of smokers has, according to the NHS, fallen to 20% – half the level in 1980 and little over one-quarter of the level in 1948 when 82% of men, and most women, smoked.
    “Incidentally, marathon-running isn’t a form of exercise to be recommended on health grounds alone. Half marathons are a better idea.” I quite agree. A good walk in the countryside is better than testing your physical limits which is why doctors used to recommend golf.

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