With just 51 days before the 2004 Olympics get underway, everyone’s focus is naturally on the events that will unfold in Athens. The British Olympic Association and UK Sport today unveiled a new partnership designed to take a longer-term view and ensure that future Olympians benefit from a truly world-class support network.

The new pact was announced by Craig Reedie and Sue Campbell, the BOA and UK Sport’s respective Chairmen at the National Olympic Assembly on Wednesday 23 June. With both organisations having a significant role to play in the preparation and performance of the nation’s top Olympians, the move has significant implications for the future of Team GB.

Craig Reedie, Chairman of the British Olympic Association, said: ‘In an ever more competitive world we must give our elite athletes every possible opportunity to compete at the highest level. This partnership and the combination of skills in the BOA and UK Sport will enhance our chances of success on the global stage.’

Sue Campbell, Chair of UK Sport, added: ‘We have always admired the pioneering approach taken by the BOA in developing cutting edge support for British sportsmen and women in the Olympic environment. UK Sport’s support via Lottery investment in the World Class Performance Programmes is targeted at cutting edge preparation. Whilst we have always enjoyed a close working relationship, we both recognise that we can improve the way we work together and our new partnership will drive this change.’

The partnership agreement will ensure that the organisations coordinate their support for high-performance sport, eliminating any potential for overlap or duplication. This will simplify the relationships that both organisations have with leading sports governing bodies and builds on the way in which the BOA and UK Sport worked together to learn from the outcomes of the Sydney and Salt Lake City Games.

Key areas for co-operation will include:

§ The development of technical research projects and medical projects, such as the Elite Athlete Medical Record (EAMR) scheme and Games-specific acclimatisation research
§ Supporting joint projects such as Performance Lifestyle and the OPEN Programme
§ Supporting the Athletes’ Commission to represent the interests of the athletes in the system
§ Driving the development of a truly world class high-performance sport system, concentrating on developing the skills of the people working within it, with particular emphasis on coaching. To achieve this, UK Sport and the BOA are establishing a wider partnership across the home countries through the creation of the UK High Performance Board which includes senior figures from the home country institutes and the BPA.

Although the partnership was only unveiled today, both the BOA and UK Sport have already begun to implement a number of joint initiatives – many of which have underway for some time – in order to offer sports as much help and support as possible in the lead-up to Athens.

For more information contact Philip Pope (ext 233) in the BOA Media Office on 0208 871 2677. Alternatively, call Rob Burgess at UK Sport on 0207 2115174.