27 January 2012

UK athlete development programme

supporting the developing athlete@UK Sport

Coaches and managers responsible for the identification and development of elite sporting talent across a range of Olympic sports are set to reconvene this week for the second in a series of masterclasses aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of the elite development pathway.

Led by the UK Talent Team (a collaboration between UK Sport and the English Institute of Sport [EIS]) the series began last month with a look at talent profiling and confirmation whilst this week’s forum, being held at Bisham Abbey, will focus on the support services that are key to the developing athlete.

Alex Stacey, Athlete Development Coordinator at the UK Talent Team, explains: “Physical competency is a key element in any sport and getting it right at the development level is hugely important, so this session aims to look at how support services can help and ensure that coaches and managers are getting the level of information they need.”

With the help of several EIS and UK Sport experts, delegates will spend two days looking at the key principles behind sport science and medicine support to development athletes including sessions on creating physical robustness, training loads and recovery and psychology, as well as assessing a number of case studies before concluding with a panel discussion.

“These are all crucial areas to get right with developing athletes and hopefully the delegates will get a real insight into these areas from our presenters” added Stacey, who will be joined in delivering the masterclass by Chelsea Warr, UK Sport’s Head of Athlete Development, whilst presenters include Glenn Hunter, UK Sport’s Research and Innovation Consultant, Ashleigh Wallace, EIS Regional Lead Physiotherapist, Nick Slade, EIS Head of Performance Lifestyle, EIS Performance Psychologist Pete Lindsay and Dr Stewart Laing and Emma Neupert from the UK Talent Team.

Since its inception in 2006, the UK Talent Team has already made an impact on the high performance landscape with over 7,000 individuals from the Great British public having applied to take part in talent assessment events as part of various technical frontline solutions designed to identify athletes with elite sporting potential.

As a result, over 50 athletes new to the high performance system are now on Olympic and Paralympic development programmes working towards success in London 2012, Sochi 2014, Rio 2016, and beyond.

The final masterclass in the current series is set for March where the focus will move on to take a look at high performance parenting.

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