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Supporting Young Talented Participants

Clubs and groups can help their young talented participants develop by: 

  • Creating an environment that maximises the potential of all young participants 
  • Supporting talented athletes on a National Governing Body (NGB) Talent Pathway 

This will enable talented participants to develop to their potential whilst maintaining enjoyment participating in the group or club.

Furthermore, these talented participants can act as positive advocates for the organisation, for example helping out with coaching or providing advice to younger members.

Overview of Talent Pathways

Developing and sustaining effective Talent Pathways where exceptional participants can learn, progress and flourish is an exciting, yet challenging task.

Successful Talent Pathways will allow you and your organisation to work towards a shared vision of supporting and developing talented individuals in grassroots Sport.

Some will become world class performers, however for the majority who do not, through being supported in their development they will develop a competence and enjoyment in the sport that they can continue into later life. 

Talent Pathways are sport specific systems developed by a sport’s NGB. They aim to help junior players realise their potential; and in doing so to identify and develop high quality participants who are committed to clean sport (UK Anti-Doping)

Drop-out rates are high precisely because the talent environment can be tough, especially on young people with lots of other pressures and interests, including their education.

The onus is on those managing the pathway, while identifying and nurturing the best, to make the experience positive and rewarding for all. Many young people start developing as talented participants within the club environment and many stay participating within their club whilst being part of their NGB Talent Pathway. 

NGB support for participants on the Talent Pathway

As participants progress in their Talent Pathway, the level of support received by NGB’s will increase. This may take the form of: 

  • High quality additional training and coaching
  • More opportunities to compete at all levels 
  • Education on factors that improve performance such as lifestyle, mental and nutritional health 

Case studies

Talent Pathways video

Table Tennis England YouTube video on how talent pathways can help players achieve.

Watch the video

A group of boys in a sports hall listen to their group leader
Girls playing football

Lexi's Story #BackingTheBest video

YouTube video about Lexi and her experiences in the Sport England-funded programme providing additional help and personal development opportunities.

Watch Lexi's story

Ellie's Story #BackingTheBest video

YouTube video about Ellie and her experiences in the Sport England-funded programme providing additional help and personal development opportunities.

Watch Ellie's story

Swimming pool with swimmers and bunting