Commonwealth, Olympic and Paralympic Potential Re-Launch

21 December 2020

Commonwealth, Olympic and Paralympic Potential Re-Launch

Athletics Northern Ireland have today re-launched their Commonwealth and Olympic/Paralympic programmes to support the progression of athletes towards Commonwealth and Olympic/Paralympic success.  The programmes are now open to applications for 2021.

The Commonwealth and Podium Potential Programmes were launched in October 2017 and have supported approximately 35 of the country’s top athletes through a periodised programme that has included centralised warm weather and altitude training camps at critical times of the year; sports science & medicine through the Sport Northern Ireland Institute or access to other experts if the athlete is not based in Northern Ireland, and individual support for competition programmes.

Director of Coaching and Athlete Development, Jackie Newton said: “Our aim is to raise the profile of athletics in Northern Ireland by facilitating more of our athletes and their coaches to be competitive on the world stage and so inspire the whole population. We believe that, in this modern age, athletes and coaches are more likely to succeed if they are part of an effective and strong system with support for planning, prioritisation and integrated services along with opportunities to travel to camps and competitions in line with their plan.”

“By providing this support we are more likely to produce athletes capable of performing at Commonwealth Games level and above and producing coaches that can take them there. Our programmes were previously named ‘Commonwealth Potential’ and ‘Podium Potential’ but we have changed the latter to ‘Olympic/Paralympic’ so that it accurately describes the aims of each programme. To be considered, athletes will need to show that they are tracking towards the standards for these Games. We have also changed our selection system to one where athletes and their coaches submit an application, whereas before athletes were invited according to their IAAF score. By asking athletes to submit an application, it gives them the opportunity to consider the appropriate programme for their ambitions and needs, and also raises awareness of our targets and expectations.”

We have seen remarkable progress from athletes who have been on the programmes during the last cycle, including individual medals at major championships and no less than 28 new Northern Ireland records. We believe that we will improve further and see more Northern Ireland athletes medalling and inspiring the whole nation.

Find out more and download the application pack here