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Talent plan launched for English athletes

By Tom Walker    04 Apr 2019
The plan underlines that sport should remain a positive experience for everyone in the talent system

Sport England has launched a new Talent Plan for England, which outlines seven principles for plans to produce future international star athletes.

The plan identifies two main objectives – progression and inclusion – as part of a new approach which places as much emphasis on "how athletes win" as it does on "what athletes win".

It underlines that sport should remain a positive experience for everyone in the talent system and that the system is accessible to everyone who has the ability and potential to succeed at the highest level – regardless of their background.

The seven guiding principles in the plan are for it to:

• Create the world’s best sporting talent system, which consistently delivers results

• Provide a positive talent development experience for all stakeholders within a sustainable high performing culture will achieve optimal results• Help people be better for being in the England talent system and advocate a holistic development approach

• Focus on athlete welfare and the parity of physical and mental wellbeing• Aim for national teams to be representative of the population they represent

• Ensure an inspired, effective and well-supported workforce, which is crucial to the creation of a sustainable high-performing system• Recognise that athlete development is complex and non-linear

"We're already a hugely successful sporting nation," Sport England said in a statement.

"Our country enjoyed record performances at the Commonwealth Games in Australia, while English athletes made up more than 80 per cent of the hugely successful Team GB and ParalympicsGB in the most recent summer Olympic and Paralympic Games."

Phil Smith, Sport England's executive director of Sport, added that while there is reason to be "proud of what's already been achieved", there's still plenty of room for improvement.

“In this plan we’re building on success,” he said.

“We’ve set ourselves a high bar but believe we can create the world’s best sporting talent system.”

“The experience young athletes receive will have a lasting effect on not only their sporting performance but also their mental and physical health.

"Training to win and enjoying the experience should not be mutually exclusive.

“Secondly, as fans we want to see sports teams that reflect the best of our nation and our population, in all its diversity. We have a concern that not only the culture of talent pathways but also the sheer cost of being talented, may be a real barrier to this."

Sport England  Talent Plan for England 
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