Major Events Announced as UK Sport Aims for ‘International Benchmark’

February 14, 2011

UK Sport, arthritis the nation’s high performance sports agency, has today released details of their most exciting calendar of international sporting events to date for this crucial year of final preparations for British sports and athletes ahead of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

UK Sport’s World Class Events Programme, which is currently backed by £3.5 million per year of National Lottery funding, expanded in 2007 following London’s successful bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games, with a doubling of investment to help ensure the UK’s sports and athletes would be best prepared come 2012.

Over 100 major international events will have been brought to the UK as part of this 2007-2012 programme to help British athletes prepare for competing at a home Games, and build expertise so that the UK can continue to host the biggest events in world sport long after the London Games is over.

The 2011 calendar, which is expected to include up to 27 events in at least 22 different sports, staged in various towns and cities across the UK, is the penultimate year of a six year strategic programme which will have seen 85% of Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic sports host a major international event on home soil by the time the Games begin.

UK Sport has worked in partnership with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) to ensure that a number of the major international events on this programme will be staged in Olympic venues, providing LOCOG with the opportunity to test certain aspects of those events ahead of London 2012.

In 2011, UK Sport will be supporting five major international events in Olympic and Paralympic host venues. These will be the World Badminton Championships (Wembley), World Junior Rowing Championships (Eton Dorney), World Triathlon Championships Series (Hyde Park), BMX Supercross World Cup (Olympic Park) and the Modern Pentathlon World Cup Final (Greenwich Park).

UK Sport is hoping to confirm its support for a further two major events taking place in Olympic venues in 2012: the Track Cycling World Cup (Olympic Park) and the Diving World Cup (Olympic Park).

Liz Nicholl, Chief Executive of UK Sport, said: “We are delivering the most comprehensive programme of major sporting events ever staged by an Olympic and Paralympic host nation, and setting a new international benchmark for future hosts.

“The fantastic calendar of events to be staged here in the UK in 2011 offers the British public a great opportunity to help give our athletes, volunteers and officials the best possible final preparation for their home Games in 2012.”

Aside from the performance benefits for British athletes and the boost to the UK’s capacity to stage major sporting events, it is estimated that for every £1 of National Lottery funding invested into these events, an average of £4.90 of additional direct economic impact is generated for the host city and region. The full events programme from 2007-2012 is therefore estimated to have generated in the region of £105 million of direct economic benefit to host cities and regions across the UK.

Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport, added:  “One of the Government’s key policy objectives has been to capture a series of key international sports events in both the run up to London 2012 and thereafter. This full and exciting programme will allow people across Britain to see the stars of London 2012 for themselves and will inspire many others to take up sport.”

Sir Craig Reedie, IOC Executive Board Member, said: “UK Sport’s World Class Events Programme has provided outstanding event hosting experience for Britain’s national governing bodies in preparation for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and will help in attracting, in legacy, more world class events to the country for years to come.
“I look forward to seeing the post-2012 programme take shape in the coming months and years.”

Sarah Springman, President of British Triathlon and Vice President of the ITU, said: “Working with UK Sport, Upsolut Sports UK and other domestic partners has been integral to the establishment of the London Hyde Park event in the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series.  We look forward to returning to Hyde Park for the third consecutive year on 6/7 August 2011.

“British Triathlon has benefited from the opportunity to build a network of home grown volunteers and national technical officials to work alongside international officials as we prepare to make the Triathlon the most memorable event in London next year. Delivery of this event has also greatly improved our capacity to stage world class events in future.”

Seb Coe, Chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), said: “UK Sport will be bringing some thrilling sporting action here in the run-up to 2012. Spectators will be able to experience some of our Olympic venues in an exciting atmosphere prior to the Games and we look forward to working with UK Sport on this programme.  Some of these events will also give us an opportunity to test our operational plans for 2012.  Olympic tickets go on sale in March and we urge people to sign up and register their interest on”

UK Sport has completed detailed planning for the UK’s programme of major international sporting events from 2013-2018. This programme will receive a budget of £5 million per year and will seek to use the catalysts of London 2012 and Glasgow 2014 to establish the UK as the world’s leading host of major international sporting events. A programme of strategic hosting targets is being finalized with national governing bodies and further details will be released later this year.