2024: A Summer of Sport - pathway to podium

Summer of Sport: Pathway to Podium graphic

The Olympic and Paralympic heroes we see on our TV screens are at the pinnacle of their careers. After countless years, thousands of hours training, they get to show the world what they can do. But where did it all start?

In the build-up to the Olympics, Paralympics and our summer of national championships, we're going to be breaking down the performance pathway journey and how we at England Athletics support these athletes. From starting in clubs, to nurturing athletes and coaches on the Youth and Junior Talent Programmes to the support we provide Olympic and Paralympic level athletes through our nationwide network of Talent Hubs and partners. We want to break down this journey for you, help answer any questions on the talent pathway journey, and show how you and your athletes can get involved.

Starting out with the Youth Talent Programme

The Youth Talent Programme is many athlete's first step on their journey to achieving their first international vest. Aimed at those aged 16-18 across para and able-bodied events, this fully inclusive programme seeks to support athletes to fulfil their potential within the sport whilst gaining a Diploma in Sporting Excellence. The programme is delivered out of our Talent Hubs by a team of dedicated England Athletics coaches, supported by current and retired international athletes.

Find out more about the Youth Talent Programme

Our outstanding network of Talent Hubs

Heather Townsend testing at Leeds Endurance WeekendAt England Athletics we are proud to work with fantastic partners and sporting universities across England to give talented athletes access to the very best support, facilities and coaching staff to help them progress their careers. From sports psychology to physiotherapy, strength and conditioning to nutrition, at each of our Talent Hubs we have a dedicated team ready to share their expertise.

In December 2022, we were delighted to announce an expansion to the Talent Hub programme, taking on board an additional two Hubs, bringing the total to four: Loughborough University, Leeds Beckett University, University of Birmingham, and St. Mary's Twickenham. This expansion would not be possible without vital support from our partners, London Marathon Events, TASS, British Athletics and Sport England.

We are proud to have supported many athletes such as Ben Pattison, Keely Hodgkinson and Emile Cairess through our Talent Hubs to not only reach major championships but to medal and place too.

Hear from Birmingham Talent Hub Manager, Andy Paul, about the impact the Birmingham Hub is currently having, and their aspirations for the future.

Continuing up the Talent Pathway

At England Athletics, we are keen to not only nurture new talent through the Youth Talent Programme, but to keep supporting these dedicated athletes as they continue their journey and career in our sport. From the Youth Talent Programme, athletes can then be selected for the Junior Talent Programme and then Senior Programme. At England Athletics, we are passionate about inclusivity across our talent pathway, but in addition to our cohort programme weekends, we also invite para athletes to our Para Academy - a programme which offers technical training and support to each specific discipline.

Talent Pathway diagram
Read more about the Talent Pathway

Keep up to date with our Talent Pathway athletes

As part of our Summer of Sport campaign, we're going to be keeping up with all things athletics and running! From exclusive Q&A's with future Olympians, to hearing stories of those who have experienced a Games first hand, you won't want to miss this. Take a look at our exclusive behind-the-scenes content below!

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