Written evidence submitted by UK Sport
The London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics
represent a once in a generation opportunity to put sport at the
heart of British social, cultural and economic activity, with
the Games acting as a catalyst for lasting positive change.
At the heart of our national ambition for a successful Games must
be the desire for British athletes to compete and win on home
soil as never before. Home athlete success is crucial to the future
legacy of the Gamesnot only in terms of providing the vital
feel good factor and national pride engendered by sporting success,
but also the "virtuous circle" where success today provides
the role models and inspiration to the athletes of tomorrow, and
helps to inspire the population at large to participate in sport.
London 2012 has already been the catalyst to significant
positive change: in terms of the simplification of the sporting
landscape introduced in 2006, leading to greater understanding
of the roles and responsibilities of the various strategic funding
bodies, and also to greater investment in our elite athletes by
UK Sport through the additional funding secured initially from
the Treasury in 2006 and more recently from the "Team 2012"
private sponsorship initiative.
It has also led to a more focused approach
to performance and what it takes to ensure you can be the world's
besta good example being the introduction of UK Sport's
"Mission 2012" process, which seeks to monitor sports'
performance but also identify ways in which solutions can be identified
to address challenges and maximise the impact of public funding
on excellence in Olympic and Paralympic sport.
As a result British athletes secured
record results at the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games, demonstrating
the real progress being made. UK Sport's investment strategy demands
that success is build on a solid foundation of talent recruitment
and development. A crucial legacy for the Games will be to ensure
that such success is not only secured in London but also in 2014,
2016 and beyond. This will require ensuring that we sustain and
resource a robust and world class high performance system in the
UK post 2012.
Alongside this is the ability to build
on the back of a home games a legacy of the UK's ability to host
and stage world-leading sporting events that will ensure the success
of the proposed "Decade of Sport". As the lead strategic
body working with sporting and regional partners, UK Sport is,
in the lead up to 2012, supporting over 80 world class events
across 40 different sports and in over 20 towns and cities across
The enquiry is specifically interested
in the use and management of the Olympic Park and venues after
2012. This includes the opportunity for Major Sporting Events
to be staged in the Park's world-class facilities post the Games,
as well as the potential for NGBs and other sporting bodies to
base themselves at the Venues.
The challenge this presents is to have
as much certainty as possibly on funding going forward. For an
Olympic and Paralympic Major Events legacy to be felt on the Park,
the ability to secure regional commitment (from London in particular)
to help underwrite and fund future events is paramount. For NGBs
in particular it is very difficult for any commitment to be made
around venue use without any knowledge of what the likely funding
available is to sustain their high performance programmes.
There will also need to be surety about
the ongoing technical viability of the stadia for use as high
performance venues. This includes not only meeting the training
requirements of elite athletes and the competition requirements
of International Federations but also being able to sustain the
infrastructure needed around major events (eg athlete, official
and spectator accommodation).
ABOUT UK SPORT
1. UK Sport is the Non-Departmental Public
Body charged with "leading sport in the UK to world class
success". It is the strategic lead body for investment in
high performance sport in the UK, with responsibility for delivering
medal success at World and European Championships andultimatelythe
Olympic and Paralympic Games. It also has strategy lead responsibility
for the bidding for and staging of World Class Sporting Events
in the UK; and for the strategic delivery of the UK's International
Relations and International Development work in sport.
2. For the 2009-13 cycle, it has invested £304
million of National Lottery and Exchequer funding directly in
support of Olympic and Paralympic National Governing Bodies' World
Class Performance Programmes; with this figure supplemented by
a further £6.5 million raised in 2009 from VISA sponsorship
the new Team 2012 partnership between UK Sport, LOCOG and the
British Olympic and Paralympic Associations. In addition it is
investing £89 million in partner bodies such as the English
Institute of Sport and dedicated programmes to support its NGB
3. This funding is invested using UK Sport's
successful "no compromise" approach, which seeks to
target funding primarily at those sports and athletes most likely
to achieve medal success on the world stage. It is supported by
strategic programmes in crucial areas such as Research and Innovation,
Coaching, Sports Science and Medicine and Talent Identification
and Confirmation, as well as areas such as our International Influence
work, which seeks to ensure that UK officials have an increasing
say on the way sport develops and is ruled at international levels.
4. UK Sport's World Class Events programme
invests an average of £3.75 million of National Lottery funding
per year supporting the bidding for and staging of major international
events23 in 2009 including the World Cup Track Cycling,
European Show Jumping and Dressage, English Open Table Tennis
and European Curling Championships. National Lottery funding typically
levers significant additional financial support to major events:
the £16m invested through to 2012 will enable a £50
5. UK Sport works in partnership with many
different sporting bodies to achieve its ambitionsincluding
the National Governing Bodies of Sport, the British Olympic and
Paralympic Associations, The Home Country Sports Councils and
Institutes, the Youth Sport Trust, UK Anti Doping, sportscoach
UK and the British Athletes Commission.
6. Following on from the exceptional performances
of our athletes in Beijing (fourth in the Olympic Medal Table
with 47 medals, 19 gold; second in the Paralympic Medal Table
with 102 medals, 42 gold), British sport has enjoyed another successful
season in 2009, with 43 medals being won in World or European
competition in Olympic disciplines and 149 in Paralympic.
7. This sustained success means that we are on
track to deliver a legacy of sporting success in 2012 and meet
our proposed medal targets of Top 4 in the Olympics and retaining
second in the Paralympics whilst winning more medals across more
sports than at any time in the modern era.
8. Additionally we are seeking to ensure
there are creditable performances from athletes in all Olympic
and Paralympic sportsseeking to raise the profile of each
sport, inspire a new generation of athletes and create a performance
pathway that will enable that future talent to succeed.
9. This investment is underpinned by dedicated
programmes that support UK Sport's direct funding of NGB World
Class Performance Programmes. Using the London Games as a catalyst,
in the past three years UK Sport has led the development, in partnership
with the EIS, of a world leading Talent Identification and Confirmation
programme, seeking to unearth new talent not just for London but
for competition over the next 10 years.
10. These include the very successful "Sporting
Giants" campaign that sought athletes for Rowing, Handball
and Volleyball, the "Girls4Gold" campaign that aimed
to find young women athletes for five different Olympic and Paralympic
Sports, and "Pitch2Podium" which works to ensure that
young footballers and rugby players who do not make it in their
professional games have another chance in Olympic sport.
11. The schemes have worked. For example,
from nearly 4,000 applicants for Sporting Giants, there are now
34 rowers, 11 Handballers and 7 Volleyball players on the World
Class Programmes of their sportsa direct impact of London
12. Alongside this, there is also positive
change to the provision of sports science and medicine through
the English Institute of Sport, following its strategic review
in 2008 and the agreement that the provision of services would
move to a "demand led" model. NGB satisfaction with
the EIS's services is currently running at 88%, with 94% of sports
saying that services have either improved or stayed the same in
the past year.
13. UK Sport continues to provide sports
with a world leading Research and Innovation programme that ensures
our technical equipment and training support is at the cutting
edge. This includes partnerships with major British engineering
companies such as BAE Systems and MacLaren F1.
14. The London Games is also allowing greater
focus on people development, which means we are able to develop
greater expertise, experience and intellectual property in the
British system that should prove of lasting value beyond 2012.
UK Sport is running schemes such as its Elite Coach Apprenticeship
Scheme, International Leadership Programme and Women in Leadership
Development Programme, all of which are targeted at improving
the quality of people working in the British system and underpinning
our athletes' performance.
15. All NGB and support service investment
is now monitored through UK Sport's "Mission 2012" programme.
Its aim is to take a regular and forensic look at each sport's
performance programme and form a view of its successes and challenges
in three key dimensions:
The athletes (performances, development,
well being, health).
The system (staff, structures, facilities,
processes, knowledge and expertise).
The climate (underlying culture, feel
and day to day experience for athletes and staff).
16. What all the above evidence provides
is a snapshot of the very real and positive change that has been
brought about in the UK high performance system since London won
the right to host the Games in 2005. The legacy in this respect
is "now": with the Games turbo-charging activity that
might not otherwise have happened at the speed and scale required
for the step change that has taken place.
17. Athlete success in 2012 will have a
direct impact on the wider legacy of the Games. The athletes that
win will not only make the nation proud but also provide genuine
role models for aspiration, dedication and fulfilment that can
inspire young people in particular and touch their lives in a
positive manner few other activities can match. Programmes such
as the Changing Lives initiative run in schools by the Youth Sport
Trust are already testament to how athlete role models can impact
on young people.
18. In addition the exposure that sports
will get through the shop window of 2012 will provide the opportunity
for more people to understand and be excited by sport, and be
a catalyst for them to try it. Athlete success can be a major
driver of participationcreating a "virtuous circle"
for investment and strategy whereby the next generation are inspired
to take up sport, leading to some in turn reaching the very highest
19. The ability to sustain this beyond 2012
is dependent on the retention of the necessary personnelnot
only athletes, but also coaches, science and medical practitioners
and other athlete support personnel. It is dependent on their
being systematic approaches still to areas like Talent ID and
Research and Innovation, on the UK maintaining a rigorous approach
to monitoring governance and ensuring best practice across NGBs.
And it is dependent on there being a continued programme of world
class events to allow our athletes to continue to benefit from
home advantagewith the 2014 Commonwealth Games being an
obvious next objective.
20. More than anything however it is dependent
on sustained resources beyond 2012. The success we have enjoyed
since 2005 and the potential we are now seeing for British sport
in 2012, and the impact that it can have on wider goals for participation
as well as social benefits, will only be delivered as legacy if
the opportunity is there for the UK system to be robustly maintained
after the excitement of the home games has passed.
21. UK Sport's events activity prior to
2012 is focused on working in partnership with NGBs to deliver
a significant programme of major international events that help
prepare the UK for hosting London 2012. This is in terms not just
of athlete performance but also building the UK's event staging
expertise through the training and experience of judges, officials,
22. These events will also help to engage the
general public in the build up to the Games, with the proximity
and (it is to be hoped) success of British athletes at World and
European Championships acting to inspire people both to get involved
in sport but also look forward to the Games themselves.
23. Separately UK Sport has also begun work
with sports formally to identify major hosting targets for the
period 2013-18, and we will be prioritising these in the coming
weeks and will happily share this with the Committee at the appropriate
24. The post Games legacy for major and
mega sporting events could be very exciting. The proposed "Decade
of Sport" for the UK includes a wide range of confirmed events
for the post Games eraincluding of course the Glasgow Commonwealth
Games in 2014, the 2014 Ryder Cup, the 2015 Rugby Union World
Cup and culminating it is hoped with the Football World Cup in
2018. Around these mega events UK Sport is to integrate a strong
programme of World and European Championships from Olympic and
25. Whilst we are interested in supporting
events that use and demonstrate the legacy of London 2012, it
is important to stress that UK Sport has a UK wide remit and decisions
on the locations of major events will be driven by a range of
factors not just post-Games usage.
26. Therefore it is essential that when
considering the use of the Park and other venues after 2012 that
the offer from these venues is as strong as it possibly can be,
in what is a competitive market across the UK. They must be viewable
objectively as viable locations after 2012 to host major events,
rather than be enforced as venues as a result of a post-Games
desire for use.
27. This means ensuring that the venues
are themselves technically compliant with the highest international
specifications, and able to accommodate world class athletes,
as well as all the necessary officials and volunteers and spectators.
28. Primarily however it means the city
having a financial model that supports the staging of some of
these larger international events. There is no doubt that the
Olympic Park will have the potential to stage major events post-2012,
but this will only be possible if regional bodies are prepared
to help underwrite the bids for NGBs, provide the necessary contributions
towards the funding and infrastructure for the events and ensure
that the appropriate partnerships are in place to allow International
Federations to feel confident in awarding the event.
29. Outside of major event competition,
the use of the venues and the Olympic Park in particular can only
really be considered in parallel with NGBs, and in particular
their future plans to operate high performance plans on or around
the Park. Provision of EIS services for example, is demand led,
with the practitioners basing themselves where the athletes and
their coaches are in training, rather than creating a site and
expecting use. Similarly NGBs will want to consider the benefit
of basing their elite programmes at the Olympic Park in some capacity
over their existing provision and ensuring that it is of maximum
value to them in terms of "critical mass".
30. While there is some consideration already
by the larger NGBs in particular about how the Olympic Park might
deliver future benefit, a key driver in shaping this will be the
confirmation of high performance funding post-2012. At the moment
this is not possiblefollowing current funding cycles the
decisions made by UK Sport about its allocation for the Rio Cycle
(2013-17) would be made in late 2012/early 2013; and this would
be pending decisions by Government on the amount of resource available.
31. Overall, the view from UK Sport would
be that the Olympic Park in particular does have potential future
use as both a competition venue and high performance centre, but
until there is certainty on the resources available to sustain
and support this it is unlikely that more detail can be given
at this stage.
32. The Committee's investigation does not
explicitly cover the impact of the success of our athletes on
the legacy for the London Games. But there is no doubt, as this
evidence has explained, that not only will that success be a vital
part of the Games' themselves, but it can and should act as a
catalyst to future engagement and participation in sport; offer
potential social and other benefits, engender national pride and
ultimately create a virtuous circle for sports policy, whereby
the next generation of world class athletes is inspired by those
of London 2012.
33. The key factor in all of this, including
the ability to continue a programme of world class events in the
Decade of Sport that can follow 2012 and use the Olympic Park
and other venues, is sustainability of resources. With funding
levels continuing after 2012, there is no reason why the British
system at the elite level cannot continue to deliver. But like
a flower that needs constant watering to survive, our long term
prospects for sporting success after London will wither if the
tap is turned off in 2013.