For the first time ever UK Sport and the English Institute of Sport (EIS) are collaborating with Team GB, ParalympicsGB and 19 Olympic and Paralympic sports to launch its latest search for the athletes of the future – From Home 2 The Games.
The search is the 17th to be run nationally since 2007 by UK Sport, in partnership with the EIS and the UK’s Olympic and Paralympic high-performance community, with From Home 2 The Games the first to leverage the power of both Team GB and ParalympicsGB.
From Home 2 The Games has been specifically designed to engage and encourage young people from all communities in the UK to explore their possibilities in Olympic and Paralympic sports that they may never have thought about getting involved with before, and consequently, discover untapped potential.
It is seeking to reach and engage 11-23-year-olds who are sporting or physically active to participate in Olympic sport and 15-34-year-olds with an impairment that makes them eligible to participate in Paralympic sport.
Officially launched today at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, potential athletes can now join From Home 2 The Games by completing three simple challenges and submitting their results at www.FromHome2TheGames.com. The challenges are:
- For Olympic sport, potential athletes need to complete a 20m sprint, a broad jump and an open skill challenge.
- For Paralympic sport, potential athletes need to complete a 20m push or sprint, a pick-up and throw and an open skill challenge.
As part of the process, potential athletes will be encouraged to upload their scores and fill in a short form about themselves and their sporting background. Submissions will close at midnight on Monday 6 September and then be reviewed by a team of expert sport scientists and coaches.
A select number of potential athletes will be invited to progress to the next stage of the process in the autumn with sessions held to further explore their opportunity to be a future Olympian or Paralympian and the possibility that a number will be selected to join National Governing Body development programmes.
Dame Katherine Grainger, Chair of UK Sport, said: “Our hope is that every young person that gets involved with From Home 2 The Games will have a fantastic, positive experience of sport and, wherever it might lead, will be better for having engaged with it. We are committed to discovering the nation’s exceptional sporting talent of tomorrow and building a more inclusive and diverse Olympic and Paralympic family.
“From Home 2 The Games is a brilliant example of the Olympic and Paralympic high-performance community coming together to give young people a chance that they may never have had otherwise. We want to get to a place where the only barrier to sporting success is potential, and so I would encourage people from all backgrounds and all corners of the UK to give this a go and have fun with it.”
Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said: “Sport is vital to our physical and mental health and wellbeing so it's fantastic to see so many of our elite sports bodies working together and encouraging young people to get fit and active.
“The expansion of the From Home 2 The Games programme means it will now go even further in its search to get young people involved in sport and hopefully unearthing the Great British Olympic and Paralympic talent of the future.”
From Home 2 The Games is digitally driven and working with seven athlete ambassadors who will utilise their channels to tell their own personal stories of engaging with sport, where their journey has taken them and some of the challenges they have faced along the way.
The seven athlete ambassadors are Adam Peaty, Ali Jawad, Bianca Walkden, Laura Muir, Kadeena Cox, Kye Whyte and Tegan Vincent-Cooke. Cox herself first engaged with UK Sport and the EIS as a potential athlete during the 2014 campaign.
Irrespective of any progression and selection towards National Governing Body development programmes, all of the young people who engage with From Home 2 The Games will be signposted as to how they might get involved with Olympic and Paralympic sport in their local areas and communities.
Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth champion Adam Peaty said: “To any young adult out there – what have you got to lose? That is exactly what I said to myself. You will learn so many things through sport that you don't even know because you don't know yourself yet. If you've had that struggle of not having enough money, not being able to do it, I think it makes that journey a little bit better. I got addicted to swimming straightaway. It was a fishhook – it grabbed me and pulled me in. It wasn't until I started to race that the love really started to flourish.”
Para-dressage rider and multiple national champion Tegan Vincent-Cooke said: “I started riding when I was four-years-old and competing when I was eight or nine but it didn’t really click that I could take it further. It wasn’t until the London 2012 Paralympic Games, when I was in my mid-teens, and seeing people like me that I thought I could get there. The main reason why I didn't see myself having a career in the sport from a young age was because there was no one out there like me that I could see. Now that I am currently working towards that goal, I do want to create a pathway so that people of all races and colours can join with me and enjoy the sport for what it is.”
Since 2007 UK Sport has worked in partnership with the EIS and over 22 sports within the Olympic and Paralympic high-performance community to run 16 national searches for the athletes of the future, engaging more than 11,000 young people.
Among those athletes to have successfully made their way through a recruitment campaign and onto National Lottery-funded World Class Programmes are a number of Olympic and Paralympic champions and medallists including Lizzy Yarnold, Helen Glover, Lutalo Muhammad, Laura Deas, Jon-Allan Butterworth, Joanna Butterfield as well as Kadeena Cox.
The 19 National Governing Bodies involved in From Home 2 the Games are:
- Archery GB
- Badminton England
- GB Boccia
- GB Snowsport
- British Athletics
- British Canoeing
- British Cycling
- British Disability Fencing
- British Diving
- British Gymnastics
- British Para Table Tennis
- British Rowing
- British Shooting
- British Skeleton
- British Swimming
- British Triathlon
- British Weightlifting
- Lawn Tennis Association
- Pentathlon GB
Team GB Tokyo 2020 Chef de Mission, Mark England, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to think about turning their dreams into reality. There will be a whole new batch of household names after the Tokyo Games, but this is about finding talent for Paris 2024, Milan-Cortina 2026 and Los Angeles 2028 and beyond.”
Penny Briscoe, ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission at Tokyo 2020, said: “We hope this bold new initiative can tap into communities that we have not managed to regularly reach to unearth more talented Paralympic athletes of the future.
“Working in partnership with UK Sport, National Governing Bodies and the English Institute of Sport, we are confident this initiative can be a crucial first step in people fulfilling their dreams of competing at a Paralympic Games and ensure ParalympicsGB is truly representative of the whole nation.
“ParalympicsGB believe passionately in equality and inclusion and we recognise that we need to ensure that there are opportunities for all aspiring athletes throughout the UK, so please sign up and begin your Paralympic journey.”
John Alder, Head of Performance Pathways at UK Sport and the English Institute of Sport, said: “From Home 2 the Games represents an exciting chance for us to connect the next generation of sporting talent with an opportunity in Olympic and Paralympic sport.
“The campaign is about finding a connection from home, where many young people have had to spend a lot of time over the past year, to the Games, which are now just around the corner.
“This will be our first digitally led athlete engagement opportunity and we hope this will allow young people of all backgrounds to enter, creating the opportunity for future athletes from right across the UK to maybe one day compete at the very highest level.”