Huddersfield’s Olympic bronze medalist Marcus Ellis may have to stop playing badminton after funding was cut by UK Sport.
The former Colne Valley High School student took bronze in the men’s doubles in Rio over the summer but could now be forced to give up competing at the highest level.
UK Sport has announced badminton will receive no funding in GB’s next Olympic cycle despite exceeding its medal target in Brazil.
Ellis explained: “UK Sport have allocated a certain amount of funding over all the sports and from April 1, 2017 there will be no badminton funding for me or any other athletes and some will have to stop playing.
“Badminton England has appealed that decision and have started a government petition to challenge the cut to funding.
“If that decision isn’t reversed, Badminton England aren’t sure if they will be able to put together a programme at all ahead of the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
“There’s no certainty at all about where we go from here.”
Although badminton has received funding from other bodies, the money will not benefit elite-level badminton players.
“Some money has come from Sport England, but that funds grassroots badminton,” said Ellis.
“That’s fantastic for the sport, but none of that money can go to funding elite level athletes who may be aiming for the next Olympics.
“As I said before nothing is certain yet but it may mean that I have to stop playing.
“Chris [Langridge] and I came back with a bronze medal which exceeded the medal target badminton was set (zero) so we feel that we have been unfairly treated compared to some of the other sports.
“Obviously Huddersfield is my local area so I’d really appreciate it if people would review the case for themselves and if they think there has been an injustice or they just want to help a local lad who might be out of a job in three months then please go ahead and sign the petition.”
The details can be found at www.badmintonengland.co.uk/backbadminton and the petition an be signed at petition.parliament.uk/petitions/175561