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UK Sport eyes Tokyo 2020 success with talent ID programme

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UK Sport has launched what it has described as “the biggest multi-sport talent identification campaign in British history” in an attempt to fast-track aspiring athletes towards glory at Tokyo 2020 and beyond.

In partnership with the English Institute of Sport (EIS), the elite sports quango today (12 July) revealed #DiscoverYour Gold, which is targeting 15-24 year-old males and females with the talent and determination to succeed in more than 20 high-performance sports.

Identifying young athletes with the potential to medal at future Olympic Games is the ultimate goal.

The campaign has five strands, the first of which – #DiscoverYour Power – was launched in March to identify potential Olympians in the field of cycling, skeleton and canoeing.

As reported by Sports Management in March, UK Sport will also seek out talent in martial arts such as judo, taekwondo and women’s boxing under its #DiscoverYour Fight strand, while the search for freestyle snowboarders and skiers will form #DiscoverYour Freestyle.

In addition, those with the potential to be elite rowers and Paralympians will be able to prove their worth under the #DiscoverYour Giant and #DiscoverYour Para Potential strands respectively.

Previous iterations of UK Sport’s talent identification programme have discovered the likes of Olympic rowing champion Helen Glover, taekwondo bronze medallist Lutalo Muhammad, Sochi 2014 skeleton gold medallist Lizzie Yarnold and London 2012 para-cycling silver medallist Karen Drake.

Liz Nicholl, chief executive of UK Sport, said the programme was “all about ensuring young people with sporting talent get the opportunity to reach their full potential no matter what their background”.

“We’re looking for athletes with raw endurance, speed or power,” she added. “You might be in the wrong sport, but with the potential – with access to the right training and support – to become a future Olympic medallist.”

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UK Sport has launched what it has described as “the biggest multi-sport talent identification campaign in British history” in an attempt to fast-track aspiring athletes towards glory at Tokyo 2020 and beyond.
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Helen Glover won gold at London 2012 having been identified as a potential rower via a talent identification scheme / Flickr.com / Richard Gillin
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