UK Sport to fund 60 world-class events to 2012

From UK Sport
The United Kingdom is aiming to host a world class sporting event on average every two weeks in the 1,000 days before the start of the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in 2012, UK Sport announced today.

The agency responsible for bringing world-class sports events to this country, announced a list of 64 events which it is targeting for towns and cities across the UK before the opening ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012, beginning with today’s UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Manchester.

Alongside sporting cities such as Manchester, Sheffield and Birmingham which regularly stage major events, the final 1,000 days before the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics will see Dorchester, in Dorset, Hereford and Largs, Scotland, hosting championships that will provide the opportunity for top British competitors to compete in world-class events on home soil.

More than 17,000 international competitors would be expected to take part in the events, providing the British public with an opportunity to catch a glimpse of current and potential Olympic and Paralympic champions in action.

The 64 events cover 30 different Olympic and Paralympic sports and represent a £32-million investment – £11 million directly from the UK Sport Lottery Funded World Class Events Programme.

The programme was developed by UK Sport alongside regional partners and the relevant sporting National Governing Bodies. Of the events listed, 25 are already confirmed; 2009 has seen 19 world-class events successfully delivered as part of the programme.

Speaking about the announcement today, John Steele, UK Sport CEO, said: “We believe this is the most comprehensive programme of major events leading into a Games that any host country has ever put together. It will provide British athletes with the opportunity to perform in front of a home crowd and the public with a chance to experience world-class sporting action in their local area.”

Staging major events on home soil not only provides athletes with home support but is also a prime opportunity for the thousands of volunteers and officials that will be required for 2012. The 64 events in the run up to the Games will provide more than 13,000 opportunities for volunteers to gain the necessary experience and key skills that will be needed. Some of the events listed on the programme will be on the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games’ official testing programme for Games readiness.

Commenting on this, Lord Coe, the LOCOG chairman, said: “UK Sport’s support in staging world-level events that help train and develop the UK’s technical officials ahead of 2012 is a vital part of the preparations for making sure that we hold a first-class Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.

“We always hoped that hosting the Games would leave a legacy of more world- class events happening in this country, and it’s great to see this is happening.”

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.

Notes to editors:
High resolution images are available of a map of the UK with 11 key events highlighted from across the country and a list of all 64 proposed events taking place throughout the next 1,000 days.

Broadcast Opportunities will be available with UK Sport CEO John Steele or COO Liz Nicholls at the Manchester Velodrome on the afternoon of Friday October 30. Both are at the Velodrome to watch the UCI Track Cycling World Cup, a UK Sport-funded event.

Country/Region specific figures can be provided on request.

UK Sport leads the campaign to bring strategically important sporting events to our shores. Working in partnership with national governing bodies, cities & regions and home country agencies, UK Sport co-ordinates the UK’s efforts to bid for and stage major events on home soil. Since 1997, UK Sport has supported more than 120 events of World, European and Commonwealth status.

For further information, images or to arrange an interview please contact:

Calum Gillies, UK Sport: 07748 111 331
Jessica Whitehorn, UK Sport : 07747 562 532

For more information on UK Sport and the World Class Events Programme, click here.

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