Our talent plan

We've created a plan which outlines our aspirations and approach to talent

Our ambition

The world’s best talent system is one that keeps on winning, so producing more and better athletes and performances remains a prime objective

All athletes and coaches know that standing still is going backwards. We believe continued success should not be taken for granted

The experience that (mostly young) athletes receive will have a lasting effect on not only their sporting performance, but also their mental and physical health. Young people enter the talent system with great ambitions and aspirations and while most of them will never represent England or GB, they should leave the talent system having fulfilled their potential and relished the opportunity. We believe that training to win and enjoying the experience are not mutually exclusive.

We have a concern that not only the culture of talent pathways, but also the sheer cost of being talented, may be a real barrier to this. Helping all young athletes to fulfil their potential is our objective, producing national teams we can both relate to and be proud of. We believe that how we win is as important as what we win.

Our objectives

Our talent plan has twin objectives relating to progression and inclusion. 


Develop a talent system in England that produces higher quality athletes throughout the entire pathway, including performance foundations.

Create environments which deliver a positive development experience and encourage retention in the sport system.


Ensure England Talent Pathways are accessible and inclusive to all who have the ability and potential

Our guiding principles

Guiding principle Our commitment
We wish to create the world’s best sporting talent system, which consistently delivers results.
We’ll support sports to enhance their talent pathways and strive for optimal alignment between England talent programmes and subsequent high-performance programmes.
We believe that providing a positive talent development experience for all stakeholders within a sustainable high performing culture will achieve optimal results.
We’ll work with UK Sport, UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) and other partners to ensure sports have an appropriate
culture, operate with integrity, advocate clean sport, and have robust policies and procedures in place.
We want people to be better for being in the England talent system, and advocate a holistic development
approach. The journey and the growth of individuals is an end in itself.
We’ll promote dual career and strive to embed a development approach that develops the whole person, supporting their educational development in concert with their technical and sporting proficiency.
We’re passionate about athlete welfare and the parity of physical and mental wellbeing.
We’ll advocate for the parity of physical and mental wellbeing. We will ensure talent leads and coaches
in funded England Talent Pathways have access to appropriate mental health awareness/mental health first aid training.
We believe national teams should strive to be representative of the population they represent.
We’ll create a system which is inclusive and enables everyone to achieve their potential.
We believe that an inspired, effective and well-supported workforce is crucial to the creation of a sustainable high performing system which delivers excellent developmental experiences for all.
We’ll invest in people development and the principles of inclusive leadership. We’ll ensure inclusion is
embedded into every aspect of our talent pathway, including the recruitment and functions of the talent workforce.
We recognise that athlete development is complex and non-linear.
We’ll reward organisations for their role in long-term development and encourage collaboration.

Our key work strands

We’ve defined five key strategies that will help realise our objectives of progression and inclusion.

Talent development practice

Work with and across sports to encourage collaboration and the widespread adoption of current best practice in talent identification, development, positive experience and talent inclusion.

Talent research and insight

Commission, review and share research and insight in order to inform our approach and disseminate good practice in order to accelerate athlete progression, improve athlete experience and improve talent inclusion.

Talent workforce development

Facilitate targeted learning and development opportunities for talent pathway leaders and coaches in order to continue to develop the skills of an increasingly diverse workforce.

Talent systems investment and initiatives

Improve progression, positive experience and inclusion within England talent pathways by performance managing our existing investments and creating new investment programmes where appropriate.

Talent communications

Raise the profile of our Talent work and showcase the impact of our investments, improve understanding of our Talent objectives.