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UK Athletics

youth Talent Programme

Niamh Emerson, heptathlete, at the 2019 European Indoor Championships in Glasgow

The Youth Talent Programme (YTP) for athletics is part of the talent to performance pathway designed to meet the needs of identified, talented English athletes aged between 16 and 18 years of age. The programme will help develop a broad range of skills, abilities and behaviours needed for senior success though the delivery of practical training sessions and workshops.

Athletes will need to attend camps and regional days at regional hubs over a two-year period. The programme sessions will be held on suitable dates to avoid competition clashes, in school holidays and at weekends. Parents as well as personal coaches will be invited to attend relevant sessions and are seen as a key part of the development pathway to senior performance.  

The programme aims to add value to the athlete and coach plan and help develop a broad range of skills, abilities and behaviours needed for senior success. It will do this through the delivery of practical training sessions and workshops. 

For those athletes in full-time education the YTP will allow the athlete to gain an academic support qualification (Diploma in Sporting Excellence) allowing progression either to further / higher education or to gain employment within a related field. Those athletes not in full-time education will be able to access the YTP content and the skills gained from their training on the programme, such as commitment, communication and working with others, will support their personal development and progression without the qualification.

More information can be found in the booklet and webinar presentation at the bottom of the page. More information regarding the webinar can also be found at here.

Delivery Model

The YTP will be delivered over two years through a number of practical training sessions, workshops and individual support sessions which take place at identified Talent Hubs. Practical training sessions are designed to create a competitive and supportive training environment with likeminded athletes.  

Workshops are designed to provide athletes with the necessary knowledge and skills to develop into a senior international athlete. Individual support sessions will allow access to performance support practitioners such as nutrition and psychology as well as technical coaches who will support both athlete and coach on key aspects of their training and competition plans. 

Topics covered include Nutrition and Performance, Psychological Demands of Athletics, Lifestyle and Performance, Communication and Dealing with the Media, 100% Me, Social Media, University Choices and Career Planning.  

Talent Hubs

Two pilot Talent Development Hubs are to be established from September 2019 supported by British Athletics and England Athletics in Leeds and Birmingham. The aim is to support athletes and coaches over a 5-year period helping manage the transition from youth to senior success.

The Hubs, in partnership with Leeds Beckett University and the University of Birmingham, will aim to provide an environment that supports elite training, education and personal development for athletes, 16 to 21+ years. Individual coach support, access to training facilities, sport science and medicine specialists will be part of the pathway. 

Wider coach development and community club and school engagement are an integral part of the Hub aspirations. The pilot programme of two Hubs will establish best practice.


Programme Benefits 

  • A camp-based programme which aims to equip athletes with the necessary skills, behaviours and abilities to progress on the path to being successful senior internationals.
  • Objective feed-back on technical and physical development, designed to support and complement club provision whilst meeting the specific needs of the athletes and coach.
  • Workshops tailored towards elite development athletes i.e. performance nutrition, psychology, time management, social media, University choices, lifestyle, clean athletics etc.
  • A training environment with event specific curriculum focused on the relevant technical requirements for a developing elite performer.
  • Opportunities for 1:1 sessions with specialist performance support staff.
  • The current qualification awards 64 UCAS points for successful completion of the two Level 3 Certificates. These are available for those athletes who are currently in year 1 of their FE studies and are planning to attend university from September 2021 onwards.
  • Mentoring and support – as part of the England Athletics Coach and Athlete Programmes. 
  • Programme Coach who will support with specific elements of the Individual Athlete Planning (IAP) process. 
  • Coach Development and support as an integral part of athlete and coach pair working on the YTP.
  • Parent information.



The Pathway

The Performance Pathway programme is focused around developing a dual career for the athlete, through fulfilling their potential within the sport and also in their education and employability. Across the two years, athletes need to complete ten units to successfully achieve the Diploma in Sport Excellence qualification part of the programme which are:

  • Technical 
  • Tactical
  • Physical 
  • Nutritional 
  • Mental / Psychological
  • Lifestyle
  • Career and Finance
  • Communication and Media 
  • Health and Safety 
  • Culture, Values and Behaviours in a Sport Pathway



The qualification element of the programme will certify and recognise the skills, knowledge and understanding they are developing as a potential elite athlete, as well as the engagement with Performance Pathway Team staff. Athletes have to be in full-time education to qualify to take part in the Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE). The talent pathway recognises that not all young people will be in full-time education and those athletes will be able to access the same practical sessions and development work but will not pick up the final qualification.

For any questions relating to the programme, please contact Sharon Morris via email: smorris@britishathletics.org.uk