Scroll through the topics below to find answers to some of the most questions asked of UK Sport. Furthermore, for a brief overview of UK Sport, download our UK Sport in a Nutshell factsheet below.
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frequently asked questions
UK Sport Role and Responsibilities
What is UK Sport's overall remit?
UK Sport is the strategic lead body for high performance sport in the UK. Established by Royal Charter in 1997, UK Sport is responsible for investing around £100 million of public funds each year – from both the National Lottery and the Exchequer – in high performance Olympic and Paralympic sport. This money is now supplemented by the income from a private sponsorship scheme “Team 2012”.
Accountable to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), UK Sport has a very clear remit at the ‘top end’ of Britain’s sporting pathway, with no direct involvement in community or school sport.
What does UK Sport do?
UK Sport’s responsibilities are to underpin and unlock the nation’s Olympic and Paralympic performance potential. It does this in a number of ways:
Investing in Performance
- Investing funds in Britain’s best Olympic and Paralympic sports and athletes to maximise their chances of success on the world stage
- Using a ‘No Compromise’ philosophy which targets investment at those most likely to deliver medals at Olympic and Paralympic level
- Working with each sport to provide the best possible support for athletes, providing everything they need from world-class coaches to cutting edge research and innovation, talent identification and Performance Lifestyle support.
Investing in Events
- UK Sport co-ordinates the bidding and staging of major international sporting events in the UK. Working in partnership with national governing bodies, cities and regions and home country agencies, over 120 events of World and European status have been supported through the World Class Events Programme since 1997.
Investing in International Relations
- UK Sport works with National Governing Bodies and other partner organisations to help them build positive working relationships with International Federations and other international bodies. This helps ensure Britain has a voice on the world stage by assisting with the appointment of individuals into key roles at such organisations.
For more information, see our 'What We Do' section.
Who does UK Sport work with?
UK Sport works in partnership with each of the national governing bodies of sport on which it invests. It also actively works with the English Institute of Sport and other Home Country Sports Institutes, the British Olympic and Paralympic Associations, and with other bodies such as SportAid and the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS), sports coach UK, the British Athletes’ Commission and Sports Resolutions UK.
For more information, please see our Working in Partnership section.
How many people work at UK Sport?
UK Sport employs around 90 staff and is overseen by a Board comprising home country representatives and independent members which meets every two months.
For more information, please see our Structure section.
How can I work for UK Sport?
All UK Sport jobs are advertised on our website and may also be advertised in national or sport specific press. UK Sport does not offer a formal internship or work experience scheme.
What sports does UK Sport support?
UK Sport is responsible for making investment decisions for all Olympic and Paralympic sports (with the exception of football and tennis).
Who qualifies for UK Sport funding?
World Class Performance funding is only available to sports achieving or striving to achieve excellence in the Olympic and Paralympic arenas. If sports are unable to show that, or where available funding is significantly reduced, funding at a ‘Basic’ level – just covering core staffing and basic preparation – will be considered for sports furthest away from podium success. For performing sports, UK Sport’s investment principles will guide funding decisions based upon past performance and demonstrable future potential.
What is the Performance Pathway?
UK Sport’s approach to funding works on the basis of an athlete pathway with three clear and distinct levels – Talent, Development and Podium. At each level, funding is geared to reflect the challenges faced by the athlete and the level of support they need to achieve their goals.
We have developed definitions that broadly help to classify athletes. We have then linked these to our funding strategy, to provide a logical and transparent approach to funding – accepting that many sport specific situations exist. Current definitions are as follows:
- Podium - athletes with realistic medal winning capabilities at the next Olympic/Paralympic Games (i.e. a maximum of four years away from the podium)
- Development – comprising athletes whose performances have suggested that they have realistic medal winning capabilities for 2016 and newly funded sports that are demonstrating the ability to be competitive by 2016. In general terms however, it is not expected that athletes in individual sports would spend more than three to four years at this level
- Talent - designed to support the identification and confirmation of athletes who have the potential to progress through the World Class pathway with the help of targeted investment
I am an athlete - how do I get funding?
UK Sport invests Exchequer and National Lottery funding in Olympic and Paralympic sports via their “World Class Performance Programmes”. We do also offer individual athletes funding if they are nominated by their Olympic or Paralympic National Governing Body (NGB), via an Athlete Personal Award application process, which is a contribution to their living and personal sporting costs incurred whilst training and competing as an elite athlete.
UK Sport cannot offer funding direct to athletes outside of those nominated by these Olympic or Paralympic NGBs, therefore your first point of contact should be your sport. For a list of contacts please visit www.uksport.gov.uk/links
What is TASS?
The Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) is a government backed partnership between national governing bodies of sport and the Higher Education / Further Education Sector (EIs) focused on maintaining a balance between academic life and training as a performance athlete, aiming to reduce the drop-out of talented athletes from sport due to academic and financial pressures. TASS funding is generally positioned below the UK Sport funded World Class Programmes and athlete places are prioritised to support those sports with funding and support gaps. Athletes meeting the correct eligibility criteria are nominated to TASS for an award by their governing body. TASS athletes must be undertaking a recognised education programme registered at an educational institution in England and the scholarship offered to an athlete operates on an academic year from October-September.
What is Mission 2012?
Mission 2012 is the process by which UK Sport assesses the performance and development of the sports in invests in and it provides a regular detailed analysis of each sport’s World Class Performance Programme.
This allows UK Sport to use a traffic light system to assess exactly where each sport is at on its journey to 2012. Most importantly it can identify gaps in a particular sports armoury and flag up potential sources of help or support from elsewhere within the high performance network.
The aim is to get all sports ‘green’ in July 2012. This won’t of course guarantee success at the Games, nothing can in high performance sport. But it does mean that British athletes and sports will be best placed to achieve their dreams and make the nation proud.
For more information, please see our Mission 2012 section.
What is the role of the Mission 2012 panel?
There are two Mission 2012 Panels – Olympic and Paralympic. Their remit is to make a positive performance difference. They review the submissions put forward by sports and decide on the status of each sport – both overall and in each of the three key areas of athlete, climate and system. Where issues exist, the Panels will examine the proposed remedial actions and see if there is potential to add any further value.
The Panels therefore provide feedback and recommended actions to sports and also make performance solutions and system focused recommendations to the UK Sport Board.
The UK Sport Board remains the decision-making body with regard to public investment and the establishment of effective monitoring and evaluation of Olympic and Paralympic sports’ performance.
How do I get involved with a Talent ID programme?
The UK Talent Team is a working collaboration between UK Sport and the English Institute of Sport with the remit of supporting the National Governing Bodies of targeted Olympic and Paralympic sports to identify, confirm and develop talent. To see what Talent Programmes are currently running please click here.
How much money does UK Sport invest in events?
Around £16 million will be invested in the 09-12 programme which has been specifically developed to help prepare the UK for hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012. This programme will not only provide British athletes with valuable experience of competing on home soil ahead of London 2012, but will also help build up a network of suitably qualified volunteers and technical officials.
What is Team 2012?
Team 2012 is a partnership between LOCOG, the BOA, BPA and UK Sport. The organisations have pooled their collective rights in order to raise as much money as possible to support the training and competition needs of athletes ahead of and after the London 2012 Games.
Team 2012 exists to create a new ‘third stream’ of income to complement existing National Lottery and Exchequer investment and is a requirement of Government. With a gap in private sector funding for the 2009-13 cycle, Team 2012 was established to close that gap and is aiming to raise between £20-£25 million (gross income) over the period through to London 2012. The main programme of fundraising is aimed at existing Olympic Partners, but alongside that, opportunities will be developed for Small and Medium Enterprises and Patrons, as well as the potential for a general public appeal.
Money raised by Team 2012 will be targeted primarily at UK Sport’s World Class Performance Programme and will be invested according to UK Sport’s existing ‘No Compromise’ strategy, but there will also be some money for the BOA and a smaller amount for the BPA. The BOA plans to invest in its Olympic Coaching Programme to benefit Olympic sports.
English Institute of Sport
What is UK Sport's relationship with the EIS?
The English Institute of Sport (EIS) is the ‘provider of choice’ in England for Sport Science and Sport Medicine services to the UK’s Olympic and Paralympic sports and the ‘employer of choice’ for practitioners working within these fields. As such it provides essential services to a very significant percentage of WCP funded sports and athletes. With its core operating costs funded by UK Sport, the EIS provides expert support services including Sport Medicine, Physiotherapy, Strength & Conditioning, Physiology, Performance Nutrition, Sports Psychology, Biomechanics, Performance Analysis, Performance Lifestyle, Soft Tissue Therapy and Talent Identification, in order to deliver world class performances.
UK Sport has transferred a number of key programmes such as the Fast Track Practitioner Programme, Performance Lifestyle, Blood Profiling and Injury Zone amongst others, as UKS aligns projects within the Home Country Sport Institute infrastructure and closer to athletes and sports.
UK Sport recognises the critical role of the other Home Country Sports Institutes in supporting WCP sports and athletes. While Institutes will engage directly with sports to agree service provision, additional funding from UK Sport to the home country Institutes in Wales and Scotland adds value by enabling home country Institute personnel to access development programmes that are run by EIS and other agencies for sports scientists and coaches working in support WCP athletes. Additionally, UK Sport invests in a network of Performance Lifestyle Advisers through the Institutes.