We’re leaders, not followers now, says EIS national director
Leisure Opportunities
Job search
Job Search
see all jobs
Latest job opportunities
Nationwide, United Kingdom
star job
Central Foundation Girls' School
Scale 5 (Spine point 14) £23,577 actual salary
Bow Road, London, UK
Coach Gyms
£20K Basic circa
Leeds, UK
star job
Rugby, UK
star job
Core Health & Fitness
Competitive salary plus commission
South East, UK

We’re leaders, not followers now, says EIS national director

Job opportunities
Colchester Borough Council
£23,874 to £30,459
location: Colchester Northern Gateway Sports Park, United Kingdom
more jobs
I’m not saying we’re the best institute in the world, but we’re certainly in the leading group

English Institute of Sport (EIS) national director Nigel Walker believes that the organisation is now among the leading national sports science and medicine institutions in the world, and can point to an enviable track record of elite performance success as proof.

Heads have been turned around the world by Britain’s Olympic medal-winning excellence, going back to 2008 in Beijing, followed by the home games of 2012, and then even better results in Rio in 2016. Other countries want to know the keys to success, says Walker.

“It’s interesting that when we were established, the first national director, a woman called Wilma Shakespear, had been working in the Australian system before she came across and set up the EIS in 2002.

“Now, we have requests from our contemporaries in Australia to come across and look at what we’re doing, as well as requests from Denmark and Holland, and India and China, and other countries. I’m not saying we’re the best institute in the world, but we’re certainly in the leading group. Rather than following the pack now, a large part of the pack is following what we’re doing, to understand how we have been so successful across Beijing, London and Rio.”

Perhaps the most well-known aspect of EIS’s work is its talent identification programme, which has unearthed Olympic gold medal winners such as Helen Glover (rowing) and Lizzy Yarnold (skeleton). Its day-to-day work, however, is working with the Olympic and Paralympic teams, as well as English netball and squash, on science, medicine, technology and engineering delivery.

EIS is growing the level of impact that it has in its relationships with sport, across optimising training programmes, maximising performance in competitions, identifying and developing talent, improving health and wellbeing and at the same time minimising training days lost to injury and illness.

“We’re working more closely with the sports and have moved to the centre ground in the high-performance system, so we’re working across those areas that the sports have told us they couldn’t do themselves,” Walker continues. “These are areas where it is more efficient and effective for it to be done centrally, such as cross-performance innovation and athlete health.”

Another Olympic year looms, with Tokyo 2020 fast approaching. Walker says the EIS is looking to increase the numbers of athletes and sports that it works with, to give them the best chance of success, and to ensure that every penny of government funding is used wisely.

“For a country of our size, we’re certainly punching above our weight,” he said. “Yes, we’re well resourced, but that money is targeted and used effectively and efficiently for maximum effect.”

To read the entire interview, see the Issue 4 2018 edition of Sports Management here.

Sign up for FREE ezines & magazines
Related news

UK Sport strengthens mental health support for elite sport – appoints special panel and first mental health lead

11 Dec 2018
UK Sport and the English Institute of Sport (EIS) have made a number of appointments ...

EIS appoints from within for head of science and technical development role

25 Jan 2017
The English Institute of Sport (EIS) – the government-funded elite sports performance organisation – has ...

EIS ploughs £60m of UK Sport funding into Team GB performance plan

10 May 2016
High performance system the English Institute of Sport (EIS) has devoted almost one million hours ...
Core Health & Fitness
Core Health & Fitness