The year of Team England’s most successful Commonwealth Games ever may be drawing to a close but athletes across the country are continuing to feel the benefits thanks to a collaborative approach between Commonwealth Games England, Sport England and the English Institute of Sport (EIS).
This summer a temporary Team England Performance Centre was set up for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, with new equipment, purchased with £93,000 of funding from Sport England, brought in to help the team reach their maximum potential.
Following the conclusion of the Games, the equipment – which ranges from inflatable ice-baths and hydraulic coaches to gym balls and floor mats – was then distributed throughout the EIS network with at least a dozen EIS High Performance and partner sites benefitting.
The EIS, the country’s largest provider of sport science, medicine and technology, delivers over 4,000 hours of service a week to over 1,700 athletes and director of operations Peter Elliott explained: “When Commonwealth Games England approached Sport England to help fund the equipment they needed for the Team England Performance Centre in Glasgow it was suggested they looked to work with us to ensure there was a long term benefit for the investment.
“We’ve worked very closely with Team England and utilised our network and contacts to ensure investment has gone on equipment that can be of long-term benefit to practitioners and athletes within the high performance system.
“It’s been a big logistical exercise but I think it shows how a collaborative approach can benefit the whole high performance system and of course we are very grateful to both Commonwealth Games England and Sport England for making it happen.”
Team England selected their largest ever team for the 2014 Games in Glasgow with over 600 athletes and support staff helping to secure a total of 174 medals, including 58 gold.
It put them top of the medal table for the first time since 1986 and beat their previous best of 54 golds and 165 overall set back in 2002.
Team England Deputy Chef de Mission (Operations) Graeme Dell added: “This project achieved an exceptional delivery outcome and has been a great example of numerous partnerships working together with a common goal, benefitting every athlete and the team as a whole.
“Feedback from the sports and the athletes shows that it underpinned the benefits they derived from our joined-up approach to the Performance Centre where both Games Time gains and longer-term legacy objectives were carefully considered.
“Both Sport England and the EIS played their own key parts in helping us to deliver on our vision at Games Time and returning a legacy to all English athletes in the HPCs.”
Sport England Property Director, Charles Johnston, said: “Team England’s Performance Centre contributed to the athletes’ success at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. It provided an enhanced environment for both athletes and support staff, which has never previously been provided for the England team.
“By working together, we’ve been able to not only support the athletes and staff during Games time but have also secured a lasting legacy from Games by ensuring both talented and elite athletes have access to good quality equipment for the foreseeable future.”
© Sportsbeat 2014