International Leadership Programme
Working with National Governing Bodies (NGBs), UK Sport seeks to ensure that the UK is able to contribute to the development and governance of international sport via the building of relationships with International Federations and other key international sporting organisations. The International Leadership Programme (ILP), launched in 2006, forms part of this remit and is designed to equip participants with the skills they need to become effective cross-cultural communicators able to operate successfully on the international stage.
Each year UK Sport will select and develop up to 15 high-flying potential people who either volunteer to represent their sport’s National Governing Body at International Federation (IF) meetings abroad, or are young professionals carving out a career in sports governance with their NGBs.
The programme lasts for 12 months with training consisting of residential modules, networking events, mentor supervision and personal development opportunities. Residential modules are based on relevant issues for leaders in the international sporting arena, such as negotiating and influencing, and are presented by leaders from both sporting and non-sporting backgrounds to give a well-rounded perspective. Participants are nominated by their NGB and selected via a rigorous assessment procedure.
The programme has been extremely successful, with several participants acknowledging the role the programme has played in furthering their international career. Examples include Craig Hunter, a Director of British Swimming who was appointed Chef de Mission for England at the 2010 Commonwealth Games who said that the ILP had developed his understanding ‘of the skills I had to focus on to succeed in the international sport environment’; Andy Tapley of England Hockey who said of being promoted to the European Hockey Federation Marketing Committee ‘I am finding the ILP an invaluable resource to me as I look to develop my international career’ and Tom Chambers, Director for the British Triathlon Federation representing triathlonscotland said that his appointment to the European Triathlon Union’s Development Committee would ‘provide challenges with which to put learning from the ILP programme to great use’.
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