‘Now is the time’ for British sport

From UK Sport
Thanks to London 2012, Britain has never been better placed to transform its long term sporting fortunes and build a high performance system in this country that leads the way across the sporting world, says John Steele, Chief Executive of UK Sport.

To make sure we maximise the opportunity, however, everyone involved will have to unite more than ever before and challenge each other to create a single and genuinely cohesive commitment to building on the foundations laid since the introduction of National Lottery funding for high performance sport in 1997.

John Steele was speaking at the start of UK Sport’s World Class Performance Conference at The Belfry. Now in its ninth year, the event is one of the high points in the sporting calendar, attended by over 300 coaches, sport scientists and other athlete support personnel from more than 30 different Olympic and Paralympic sports. Steele’s comments reflected the theme of “Teamship” that is the basis of this year’s conference, with learning coming from the world of sport but also the arts, broadcasting and the military.

Steele said: “After the highpoint of Beijing, some might have expected to see a dip in performance this year but the opposite is true. It has been another summer of success for many sports, with a number of breakthrough performances from the likes of Alistair Brownlee, Beth Tweddle and our men’s and women’s Hockey teams building on continued world class performances from our more regular medal winning sports.

“This shows the incredible incentive that London 2012 is for our summer sports — and the catalyst that it can be for our ambitions. As a nation we have never been better placed to capitalise: with the talent, ambition and drive of athletes and coaches complemented by the fantastic resources, experience and expertise at our disposal from all those involved in delivering the sporting system.

“Now is our time: we can build lasting foundations that will secure not only medals at the Games but a high performance system that is truly world leading. But we can only do this if we all work together as a single cohesive unit.”

â–¡ UK Sport is the longest standing lead sponsor of the Sports Journalists’ Association, with a partnership that goes back more than a decade. Sky Bet is the SJA’s newest partner, the sponsorship being announced in October 2008.

Both partners support the SJA’s two prestigious annual awards events, including the presentation of a special UK Sport Award for excellence at the SJA’s Annual Sports Awards and the sports betting writer of the year at the SJA’s British Sports Journalism Awards.

The SJA Annual Sports Awards are the longest established of their kind in the United Kingdom, having been first staged in 1949.

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