Centres of excellence



  • Primary school children was put through many fitness tests, they would then have daily sports lessons where coaches would observe and track their progress
  • If a child showed potential they would be sent to a child and youth sport school 
  • Train for over 50 hours a week with some acedemic study
  • If the athlete didnt deliver they were released from the school
  • East German Government launched state plan 1425 resulting in all athletes being doped
  • Their was state of the art institutes for athletes to train and be monitored, most famous was German College of Physical Culture in Leipzig
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  • The AIS was born out of a poor performace in the 1976 Montreal Olympics
  • As the public was dissapointed, the government could spend alot of their money on developing AIS
  • AIS now offers 600 scholarships every year, covering 25 sports, employing around 75 coaches
  • AIS provides world class facilities, high performance coaching, state of the art equipment, world class sports medicine and sports science facility, travel, accommodation and education expenses
  • Sports Search is their best program as it allows them to target their resources in the best way as they have a relatively small population compared to the UK
  • In the run up to the 200 Sydney Olympics schools took part in a national sports talent search scheme to pinpoint characteristics for suit olympic sports
  • Another supports system, ACE (Athlete Career and Education) was set up to enhance the personel development and performance of athletes through a number of career and education services
  • Australias sports science and medicine department created the ice vest, super roo bike and altitude house
  • AIS is not centralised anymore, it now offers support through a network of coaches and support staff based in institutes in each of the Australian states
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  • Development of sport in the USA is done through school and college systems
  • High school is the start and the school needs to be part of their states High School Athletic Association, this is the one route to the top in most US sports
  • most games take place on friday night and play in conference leagues, the winners then go to district and state championships
  • Scouts follow every game and from early in the season target certain players
  • Successful high school players recieve scholarships to coer tuition fees and board
  • College/University aims to get players ready for professional sport through 4 years of training
  • Generate huge revenues from gate, sponsorship and media fees
  • From amateurism they are forbidden to recieve anything but free tuition, meals and accomodation
  • The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) controls college sport
  • Coaches also use college as a stepladder to success, most coaches have worked their way up
  • Every college game is recorded and analysed by a nation office, which then scores and ranks each player across the states, identifying the best players
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World Class Performance Pathway

  • funds performance and subsistence costs of UK elite athletes, this come from Lottery sports fund via the athletes home sports council
  • aims to invest world-class funds to achieve constant success in top level international events
  • teams and individuals must pass a selection criteria before they are nominated by their respective governing bodies
  • the programme has 3 stages, funding increases the higher the athlete goes up

The funding of elite athletes is done in 2 parts:

  • programme funding - cover support services
  • athlete personel awards - support living costs and sporting costs

UKSI (United Kingdom Sports Institute) - network of elite training and research centres

National network centres - including EIS, SIS, SIN and WIS

Elite coach education programme - aims to meet needs of elite coaches

ACE (Athlete Career and Education) combines sport with educational

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Lottery funding

Since 1994, the UK National lottery has raised over £3 billion for all levels of sport

About £200 million was used to support elite sport in preparation for the 2004 Athens Olympics

In 2005, an additional "go for gold" lottery scratchcard was launched, with 2 aims:

  • funding the costs of organising and staging the 2012 London Olympics
  • supporting team GB in their preparation for 2012

It also funded the rest of the money for London 2012 Olympics after all the private money and government tax money had been used

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These tend to charge participants a fee to use their services, in return they supply top class facilities and coaching from former top class performers

Normally offer short intensive courses which coincide with school holidays

It appears to work best with more closed style sports such as cycling, rowing and gymnastics

One criticism is their is often an emphasis on physical preparationa and fitness, which can lead to burnout

Many people argue that the money spent on academies would be best used at athletes further down in the pyramid

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Training for Olympics

Team GB state the following requirements in order to prepare for global competition:

  • exclusive training in the facilities 2-3 weeks prior to the event
  • high standard of training and living facilities
  • location with similar climatic conditions to host venue
  • location in a similar time zone as the host venue
  • support facilities with access to a hospital with an A&E department and advanced scanner technology
  • withing half a days direct flight from the host venue

Holding camps - camps used in weeks directly prior to the event, location must relate to the venue, here athletes can train in similar conditions. used to focus athletes and improve performance

Preparation camps - training bases used using facilities offered in the holding camps, enable everyone to familiarise themselfs with th event, these are used up to a year before the event, also allow the team to have a dry run of precedures

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