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UK Sport said it has launched a development programme for aspiring event leaders, and will distribute £453,200 of extra funding to four national governing bodies.

The organisation, which is funded by the the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and The National Lottery, said it has launched a leadership programme aimed at growing the number of world-leading event directors in the UK.

It said the new Event Leaders Programme will provide an opportunity for current and aspirational events leaders to build upon existing leadership skills, learn new approaches, and crucially, understand how to apply and embed them in the context of their own events.

The organisation has also launched the Event Leaders Mentoring Network, which it said is targeted at highly-successful and well-established leaders and directors in the sports industry, who have delivered the biggest sporting events in the world in the UK, to come on board as mentors for the Event Leaders Programme.

UK Sport CEO Sally Munday said, “We want out sporting community to be known internationally for its people-first approach and we are proud to be launching the Event Leaders Programme. On the world stage, we believe that a key USP of the UK’s major events offer is its people – it has a highly-skilled, dedicated and loyal network of event professionals.

“To ensure the UK’s programme of international events continues to set new benchmarks for impact, innovation and quality, we must invest into and support this network who are so integral to our ongoing success. At UK Sport, we want to play our part in ensuring event leaders in our community feel supported, can develop and are in turn able to lead their teams to deliver strategic, ethical and impactful events.”

Applications for both the Event Leaders Programme and the Event Leaders Mentoring Network are open now.  More information is available here.

Separately, UK Sport said it will provide a grant of up to £453,200 of funding for four national governing bodies to help address the impact of the  pandemic.

The British Basketball Federation, England Hockey, Goalball UK and Pentathlon GB will all receive help as part of the third round of UK Sport’s Continuity Fund, which has now provided 22 awards totalling £2,910,700.

UK Sport said all four NGBs applied for additional assistance based on assessments of the longer-term implications of Covid-19 and the grants will be used in a variety of ways including to support existing expenditure and ongoing strategic activities as well as enabling them to take part in competitions.

The breakdown of support to the four NGBs via the third round of the Continuity Fund is as follows:

British Basketball Federation – £87,700

England Hockey – £317,500

Goalball UK – £22,000

Pentathlon GB – £26,000

During the first two rounds of the Continuity Fund 18 awards were made and the completion of the third round brings the total of grants to sports to help mitigate the adverse impact of Covid-19 on the operational and financial health of NGBs to £2,910,700.