British Athletics have announced a crucial partnership with London Marathon Events to improve the future development of athletics talent with a structured network of talent development hubs – running programmes that provide athletes aged 16-21 years with a seamless experience through the performance pathway, to ultimately fulfil ambitions of success on the international stage.
The talent hubs, developed in collaboration with the Home Country Athletics Federations, will see talent hubs and academies developed across all home nations. England Athletics will be supported by the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) to implement the University of Birmingham and Leeds Beckett University Hubs.
London Marathon Events will play a key part in the structure by providing investment specifically for the development of 1500m-plus events based at the two universities with the aim to support endurance athlete and coaches to progress and transition from junior to senior success.
With Birmingham and Leeds already operational having taken part in the strategy pilot, and in light of the Covid-19 outbreak, part of the programmes are already being adapted into virtual, online based activity and e-learning to ensure the ongoing support for athletes and coaches and the ability of the programme to ensure safe activity at this challenging time.
The TASS element will be key in providing additional performance support services and quality assurance of delivery in sports science and medical support.
British Athletics Talent Director Jonathan Roberts said: “We are thrilled with the launch of the talent hubs at Leeds Beckett and Birmingham, as they play a key part of providing a dual career pathway for athletes and additional support for coaches.
“London Marathon Events’ investment into the endurance events is a hugely significant boost to this newly evolving talent pathway across the UK. We are thrilled that they have given the talent hubs their endorsement and support and look forward to working with them in this area of talent development.
“To work in collaboration with London Marathon Events, England Athletics, the universities and TASS gives us the best opportunity to provide the best pathway for athletes and additional support for coaches, as one part of our vision for talent development in the UK.”
Hugh Brasher, Event Director at London Marathon Events, said: “We are passionately committed to supporting the overall development of British distance running and we believe the creation of these new talent hubs at Leeds Beckett and Birmingham offer vital support to young British athletes as they move from school to university.”