Pitch2Podium is an exciting talent transfer programme created by the UK Talent Team and our partners within the football and rugby authorities (Football Association, Professional Footballers’ Association, Premier League, The Football League, League Football Education, Scottish PFA, Premier Rugby, The Rugby Players' Association and the Rugby Football Union).The aim of the programme is to provide young football and rugby players who have been unsuccessful in securing a professional contract, with a second chance opportunity to succeed in a new Olympic sport.
Over the years the young players will have acquired some excellent skills, abilities and athletic qualities from their previous sport. With elite coaching and the right support package, many of these attributes could be successfully switched to targeted Olympic sports, where they could achieve Olympic success.
There are already several high profile cases of athletes successfully transferring from one sport to another, including:
- Darren Campbell: Having played for Plymouth Argyle, returned to athletics in 1995 going on to win Olympic gold.
- Kévin Sireau: a French youth football player who swapped to track cycling and won an Olympic silver medal in Beijing.
- David Price: released by Liverpool FC and switched his efforts to boxing, going on to win Olympic bronze.
- Sir Steve Redgrave: Britain’s greatest ever Olympian profited from an early involvement in rugby before turning to rowing.
A number of former football and rugby players have successfully joined Olympic development programmes. You can read some of their stories on our Talent Ambassadors page.