Why we champion talent

Some people excel in sport, and we're helping talented athletes fulfil their true potential

Whether it’s at school or further education, or through their own hobbies or interests, many young people develop a passion and flare for a particular discipline.

It’s part of our role to ensure talented young people are given every opportunity to turn their talent into success.

We believe everyone should be given a chance to take part in competitive sport. For some, our talent schemes are the start of a journey that culminates in global sporting success.

We want to create a positive experience for athletes within the pathways, giving them the confidence to take part at a high level and go on to become our next generation of volunteers, coaches and organisers of sport.

Eventually, we proudly hand over the baton to UK Sport, which is tasked with helping elite athletes reach the top of the medal table in major events, such as the Olympics.

Our Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with UK Sport sets out our joint commitment to work collaboratively together to jointly fund talent pathways and develop performance foundation programmes.

For some, our talent schemes are the start of a journey that culminates in global sporting success

Most importantly we want people from all backgrounds to fulfil their potential. That’s why we offer schemes such as Backing the Best, run via SportsAid, which offers grants for those unable to afford the costs involved in training, equipment and travel. 

We also support Commonwealth Games England to help our national sporting heroes achieve medal success at the Commonwealth Games.

Our programmes include:

Talented Athlete Sponsorship Scheme (TASS)

A government-backed partnership between talented athletes, educational institutions and national governing bodies of sport. Find out more about TASS.


Supporting the next generation of British sport stars, SportsAid provide athletes with financial support and recognition during the critical early stages of their careers.

Backing the Best (delivered by SportsAid)

SportsAid delivers our Backing the Best scheme, which is there to help talented athletes from poorer backgrounds.

sports coach UK

sports coach UK supports coaches to fulfil their potential and therefore get the most out of our crop of upcoming sporting talent.

Working with national governing bodies

Each sport body provides its own routes for talented athletes. We work closely with each organisation to support what we call its ‘talent pathways’, where athletes are able to access funding and support through each stage of their training.