What is a Performance Pathway?

Building and sustaining highly effective performance pathways in which talented athletes can learn, develop and thrive is a tremendously exciting, yet challenging task. We know that successful performance pathways require expert coaching, leadership, and support staff, all working towards a shared vision of identifying and confirming the right athletes, and supporting those individuals to develop within an optimal environment.

The Performance Pathway Team try to understand:

    • How effective the UK World Class system is at identifying, confirming and developing future athletic talent
    • What the World Class system athlete turn-over rate is and how this can be reduced
    • Which sports promote talent through the pipeline best and why
    • Which sports have similar athlete development challenges and opportunities
    • How sports identify their weaknesses and uncover any gaps in their systems

The Pathway diagram below is a hypothetical representation of a full pathway, and is designed to highlight the Performance Pathway and the Talent Pathway. Not all sports will require all layers depicted in this diagram, and not all sports will label each programme in the same way. Paralympic and some Winter sport pathways may have considerably fewer layers than shown in this diagram. Further explanation of the Performance Pathway programmes can be found below.


World class Podium
This programme is designed to support sports and athletes with realistic medal capabilities at Olympic Games, or realistic gold medal capabilities at Paralympic Games, and are a maximum of four years away from the podium. 

World class Podium Potential

This programme is designed to support the stage of the pathway immediately beneath Podium. It supports sports and athletes that have demonstrated realistic medal winning capabilities for future Olympic or Paralympic Games. Athletes at PP level are typically four to six years away from the podium.

Performance Foundations

Home Nation Talent Pathways where highly talented athletes are first identified, confirmed and prepared to meet the increased demands of the world class environment. Athletes at PF level have the potential to graduate to Podium Potential within 1-4 years.

Funding Partners
  • DCMS
  • TNL partners
Official Partners
  • BAES logo
  • BUPA
  • IHG logo
Strategic Partners
  • British Olympic Association
  • Paralympics GB
  • Sport England
  • Sport Northern Ireland
  • Sport Wales
  • Sport Scotland