Saturday marked a momentous day for high performance sport in this country, with significant changes to the sporting system finally taking effect. From 1 April 2006, UK Sport assumed full responsibility for all Olympic and Paralympic performance-related support in England and the UK, from the identification of talent right the way through to performing at the top level.
The transfer of the World Class Potential programme in England, together with responsibility for the direction of the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme, TASS 2012 Scholarships and the English Institute of Sport, integrates the funding and management of high performance sport and provides for the first time a one-stop-shop for Governing Bodies and athletes. UK Sport can now have meaningful impact on decisions across the pathway and ensure that resources are targeted where they are most required.
In taking on this new responsibility, and remaining focused on a 'No Compromise’ approach, UK Sport has redefined the terms under which funding and support will be provided. It will operate on three key levels, World Class Podium, World Class Development and World Class Talent, under the umbrella of The World Class Performance Pathway.
Sue Campbell, Chair of UK Sport, said:
"These changes mean that we can provide a more integrated and seamless approach to funding and support from the moment an athlete’s talent is identified through to the time when they are challenging for medals on the world stage. It brings a clear delineation of responsibility for the key elements of sports policy in this country that was not there before, with Sport England now the lead body for community sport and participation.
"Combined with the announcement in last month’s budget of substantial more funding being made available for high performance sport through to 2012 we now have the best possible environment to effect change, deliver our ambitions and make a real difference to athlete support in this country."