UKA, the national governing body for British athletics, has announced those athletes invited onto the World Class Performance Programme (WCPP) for 2010/2011, the penultimate competitive season before the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
The selection panel, made up of the Head Coaches, National Event Coaches and an independent statistician, have identified 36 Paralympic athletes who are an exciting mix of proven Championship performers and young talent who have made significant breakthroughs.
The programme, which runs annually from December to November, is split into two levels of funding; Podium and Development each with strict criteria and standards which must be met for selection throughout the year with the support of UKA staff.
All medallists from the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing retain their place on Podium funding, in line with the Selection Policy whilst only eight of the Paralympic programme athletes were reviewed during the funding selection reviews as all others were selected for the IPC Athletics World Championships in January 2011 and subsequently automatically retained until 1 March 2011.
UKA Head Coach Charles van Commenee said: “It is that time of year again where we must review our athletes, their 2010 performances and make tough decisions based on our proven WCPP criteria. I am pleased to announce the 96 athletes which will, deservedly, be given support from UKA and the National Lottery. Athletes must prove themselves continuously to maintain their position on the programme which has performance at its core and we must demonstrate a clear return on investment to the lottery playing public. They want to see winners in British vests.
“There is no denying that, with two years to go, all eyes are firmly fixed on the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games but 2011 really is crucial to any potential successes in London.”
Peter Eriksson, Head Coach-Paralympic, said: “I firmly believe that the athletes recently selected to the 2010-11 World Class Performance Programme act as a window into the future of the sport in the UK. These athletes truly represent the next generation of British Paralympic Athletes, and I am very confident that those selected are equipped with the tools to continue their already rapid improvements toward medal success at both the 2012 and 2016 Paralympic Games. The senior athletes vying for selection to the 2010-11 WCPP after the World Championships will do so in the knowledge that the next generation of stars are on board and nipping at their heels.”