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Government announces streamlining process to produce more medals

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The government has announced dramatic changes to the structure of sport in the UK, with the aim of winning more British medals at the 2012 Olympics.

In an effort to better clarify the roles of key agencies, UK Sport (UKS) will take responsibility for delivering high performance sport, from the development of potential elite athletes at the early stages of their careers, to performing on the international stage.

Sport England will focus on encouraging greater participation at a grassroots level, through its network of regional sports boards. Responsibility for certain programmes, including the World Class Potential programmes for Olympic and Paralympic sports, the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) and the funding and directing of the English Institute of Sport (EIS), will transfer to UKS next April.

Tessa Jowell, secretary of state for culture, media and sport, said: “These changes will create a clear organisational distinction between community and elite sport.”

The move has been positively received by chair of the EIS, Steve Cram: “The streamlining of the system will make it easier to do our job better.

“Philosophically, the EIS has always been aligned to the highly focused, targeted approach of UK Sport.”

Simon Clegg, chief executive of the British Olympic Association, also welcomed the announcement: “This is good news for the Olympic sports and goes a long way to achieving the ‘one-stop shop’ which has been called for by governing bodies.”

The changes will require reorganisation at Sport England, possibly entailing job cuts and relocations, said its chair, Patrick Carter: “Sport England will continue to streamline its head office and deploy those resources to the regions.” Details: www.uksport.gov.uk

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The government has announced dramatic changes to the structure of sport in the UK, with the aim of winning more British medals at the 2012 Olympics.
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