As the New Year approaches, in which the UK will play host to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, UK Sport, the nation’s elite sports agency, remains confident in British athletes’ chances of success in London, but also in the ability to sustain success beyond London through the system-wide improvements made in high performance sport.
Mission 2012 requires Britain’s summer Olympic and Paralympic sports to think about their performance plans in three dimensions based around their system, their athletes and the climate within the sport. In recent months, UK Sport has increased the scope of its ‘Mission’ process to cover both plans for the Winter Games in Sochi 2014 and early thinking for the next Summer Games in Rio in 2016.
UK Sport’s latest analysis through Mission 2012 shows that there have been significant improvements made in the ‘system’ dimension across the board, which encompasses the places, structures, processes, people and expertise that deliver each sport’s World Class Performance Programme, and will be key to ensuring sustained success beyond the home Games. Nineteen sports currently rate the ‘system’ within their sport as green; the most since the Mission 2012 process began in 2008 and three more than at the last Mission 2012 update in July this year.
Of the 28 Olympic sports assessed through Mission 2012, 13 are now rated as green overall, the most since Mission 2012 began in January 2008, with 15 rated amber and no sport given an overall rating of red. The Paralympic sports are also progressing well, with ten sports on a green rating overall, again the highest since the Mission 2012 assessments began. The remaining eight sports were rated amber and no Paralympic sport rated as an overall red.
Commenting on the most recent set of results, UK Sport Chief Executive Liz Nicholl, said: “The record level of funding into elite sport through the National Lottery, Exchequer and Team 2012 has contributed to the success of British athletes over recent years and allowed us, in partnership with the national governing bodies, to lay the foundations for an effective, and importantly sustainable, high performance sporting system supporting our elite athletes in the UK.
“This has been reflected not only in the Mission 2012 reports, but also in the dialogue we are currently having with sports in planning for the Rio cycle. I am confident that we are in a fantastic position to deliver success not only in London, but also at the Winter Games in Sochi in 2014, and subsequent summer Games in Rio in 2016 and beyond, to ensure a high performance legacy from our home Games.
“The successful bid for London to host the 2017 World Athletics Championships is another example of a significant legacy benefit from the London 2012 Games coming to fruition, and UK Sport is incredibly proud to have supported our partners in the bid, which takes our ambitions beyond even 2016 and into the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic cycle.”
British Olympic sports have delivered 44 medals between them in Olympic disciplines at World Championships this year, with more set to come at the Sailing World Championships currently underway in Australia. In Paralympic sport, an incredible 73 World Championship medals have been won by British athletes in Paralympic disciplines this year, indicating that Paralympic sport is also very much on track for success in 2012.
Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport and the Olympics, said: “These are enormously encouraging results which show the benefit of the increase in Lottery funding made available by Government in May 2010. They put us in an excellent position as we move towards London 2012 and onto Rio 2016.”
UK Sport has also today confirmed the results of its 2011 Annual Review of Investment. Following consultation with all sports and review of their current performances and future potential for medal success, there were no changes made to existing investment levels in any of the summer or winter Olympic or Paralympic sports.
Sign up to receive regular highlights from the exciting world of fencing - celebrating the best of our unique and inspiring community