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Richard Buck's UK Athletics funding restored
OLYMPIC one-lap specialist Richard Buck is celebrating his biggest victory of the year – the return of vital funding.
The six-time European and World medal winning athlete has been restored by UK Athletics to the World Class Performance Programme from December, a move that will net the City of York Athletics Club runner a boost of as much as £20,000.
Buck, a feature of Great Britain’s indoor and outdoor 4x400 metres relay teams in recent years, had been operating without the funding, which helps with living costs and training expenses, for a year after he was cut from the podium relay funding scheme.
That forced him to take a job stacking shelves at a Tesco store in Loughborough, where he trains with many of the country’s high performance athletes.
Now back on the scheme, Buck can look forward to receiving as much as £10,000 to cover rent and the cost of living such as food and fuel.
He will receive full medical cover and access to training camps in the winter and at the start of the season – facilities that are usually worth about £3,000 a camp.
“I am delighted,” he said. “It has been really hard this last year.
“It’s hard doing this anyway – it takes a lot of your time and there is a big personal sacrifice – so it is really nice to have the additional support back again.
“It is nice that people have faith in you and it will start to make things a little bit easier. It is significant. Everything helps to be honest. We are flying out for races quite frequently, for example, and they are often not covered so you are trying to finish in the top three to cover the costs.”
Despite the setback, Buck was picked for the Great Britain relay squad at London 2012, although he did not form part of the two quartets which competed at the Olympic Stadium, and he is looking forward to the stability that funding will bring to his forthcoming season.
He added: “It has been really difficult, not just financially but emotionally and physically as well. I am really pleased with how everything has gone (in spite of that). It’s still not easy even when you have the funding but it gives me a lot of hope for the future.
“We (Buck and coach Steve Fudge) have had a couple of really good seasons now where we have been moving forward. This allows me to keep going with that. Training camps are really essential. Last year I couldn’t do the one I wanted to and I self funded another, which was expensive. I attributed the success of that to how the summer went.
“The funding gives you a chance to chase after the top level of performance that you are desperate for.”
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