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Chris Hoy lends his support to talent identification campaign

By Matthew Campelli    02 Mar 2016
Sir Chris Hoy joined representatives from UK Sport and British Cycling to launch the campaign / landmarkmedia / Shutterstock.com

UK Sport and British Cycling have teamed up to launch a talent identification programme which aims to encourage promising athletes in other sports to take up sprint cycling.

Flanked by the most decorated British Olympian, Sir Chris Hoy, UK Sport head of performance pathways Natalie Dunman and British Cycling performance pathway manager Ian Yates unveiled the initiative, which is targeting 15-21 year-old male and female athletes with the potential to be fast-tracked into the sport.

Launching today (2 March) at the Lee Valley VeloPark in Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the #DiscoverYourPower campaign has set the goal of finding individuals capable of competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and beyond.

“If Great Britain wants to maintain its position in cycling we need to do everything possible to ensure we identify and develop the very best talent,” said Dunman. “We know about 90 per cent of athletes will come through the traditional pathway – through the club system – but we also know that system is not perfect and there are other opportunities to identify the other 10 per cent and bring them in sideways and develop them quite quickly”

UK Sport – alongside British Cycling and the English Institute of Sports – will run a series of assessment events in the coming months, looking for athletes from other sports with “physical attributes, tactical attributes and behavioural attributes”.

The elite sports quango has already developed 12 similar campaigns since 2007, with 100 athletes coming through “who wouldn’t have otherwise come into the system”, winning more than 250 international medals.

Dunman highlighted Olympic gold medal rower Helen Glover, who was originally a hockey player, as one of the success stories, while Hoy himself dabbled in football, rugby and mountain biking before winning several gold medals for sprint racing.

Yates added: “From a British Cycling perspective, this is part of the enhancements made to the performance pathway over the last 12 months. For sprint it was about increasing the talent pool."

Sir Chris Hoy  cycling  UK Sport  British Cycling  Olympics 
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