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New Talent Hub up and running at Leeds Beckett University to support talented athletes and coaches

A new athletics Talent Hub is now up and running at Leeds Beckett University (LBU) to support the next generation of talented athletes, their coaches and the wider club community.

British Athletics and England Athletics have worked with LBU, London Marathon Events and the Talented Athlete and Scholarship Scheme (TASS) to provide a new performance pathway for athletes that sees LBU and the University of Birmingham as the chosen Talent Hub venues.

England Athletics is hosting a series of free webinars, starting Monday 1 June, tailored to athletes, parents, coaches and club contacts who want to find out more about the Talent Hub scheme. Visit the England Athletics website  to view the webinar schedule and register for free.

The Leeds Beckett University Talent Hub will offer three strands of support to young athletes including: a Youth Talent programme aimed at 16-18 year olds, Performance Scholarships aimed at over 18’s, linked to Leeds Beckett University, and a Senior Programme for athletes over 19, who have been nominated as part of a National Governing Body programme or by London Marathon Events.

In light of the Covid-19 outbreak, parts of the programmes have been adapted into virtual, online based activity and e-learning to ensure the ongoing support for athletes and coaches with safe activity at this challenging time.


LBU graduates, Olympians Laura Weightman and Tom Bosworth, and 2018 Commonwealth Games athlete Alex Bell will receive support from the Leeds Beckett University Talent Hub. They will be joined by current students Gemma Bridge, Alex Botterill, David Mullarkey and Daniel Preston along with up and coming junior stars from the region, including Ethan Hussey.

The hub will be led by experienced Olympic coaches, Talent Hub Manager Dr Andi Drake and LBU Athletics Head Coach Andrew Henderson.

The aspiration is that the Talent Hubs will become centres where athletes and coaches can benefit from excellent support but also that the wider club community is served through coach education and development, and that club officials and volunteers can be supported. 

Representation on the advisory group from local clubs or regional councils is being put in place so that the Talent Hubs can support the growth of the whole sport, not least by strengthening the performance of athletes in the club environment.


Dr Andi Drake said “We are delighted that Leeds Beckett University has been selected to become one of the first England Athletics Talent Hubs and are excited by the opportunity to deliver this programme.

“Our aim is to build a network with local athletics clubs, schools and universities. Alongside this, we will continue to provide a high-quality performance development environment for a selected group of athletes and coaches, with a professional coaching structure in place.

“The scheme will also help support sport science and medicine provision. It will provide an education and learning programme to help athletes establish a dual career pathway through their journey at Leeds Beckett University.”

Coaches from LBU, including Drake and Henderson, will feature in England Athletics’ weekly webinars where they will discuss the impact of the LBU Talent Hub in more detail and provide insights into their roles

The Leeds Beckett University Talent Hub is another sporting landmark for the university alongside the £45m investment in the new state-of-the-art Carnegie School of Sport building.

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