GYMNASTICS: The future of South Cheshire's world-class gymnasts Beth Tweddle and Rebecca Mason could be jeopardised if cuts in Lottery funding are implemented next year.
UK Sport is said to be considering slashing funding for the sport's Olympic performance programme by nearly 95% from £928,000 to £48,000 - enough for one gymnast but no coach and no teammates.
That could spell disaster not only for Tweddle, of Bunbury, and Mason, of Sandbach, but for the sport in general at a time when British gymnastics is on the rise.
British Gymnastics' chief executive, Alan Sommerville, dismissed the reports as 'alarmist'.
He said: 'UK Sport is merely working on a formula which is not yet complete. Because there is less Lottery money available with less people playing the game, UK Sport is prioritising how to spend the money.
'We will certainly not be sitting back and waiting to see what happens. We will be making our case for funding before January. We have a 12-year plan which includes being Olympic medal contenders in 2008 and 2012.'