Peaty calls on UK govt to increase grassroots sport funding

FILE PHOTO: Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Swimming - Men's 100m Breaststroke - Medal Ceremony - Tokyo Aquatics Centre - Tokyo, Japan - July 26, 2021. Adam Peaty of Britain poses with his gold medal REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

(Reuters) - British swimmer Adam Peaty has called on the government to increase funding for sport in the country, particularly at grassroots level.

Three-time Olympic gold medallist Peaty made the comments while addressing MPs as part of a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee hearing on the future of the national lottery, which helps fund the country's Athlete Performance Award.

"I just think there needs to be more support as a whole," he said. "(Grassroots) is seen as people doing it for fun. It should have a greater share of the pie, especially around the teenage years."

He added that increased investment in sport would be in the government's interests because of the long-term benefits to public health.

"I don't know where the money is going to come from, but I know if you've got a healthier nation, a fitter nation, a happier nation and a valued nation, that return on investment is going to be great," he said.

Peaty was part of a trio of athletes to speak at the session along with Paralympians Ellie Robinson and Lauren Rowles.

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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