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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 November 2007, 12:00 GMT
Experts to boost 2012 medal hopes
Sir Clive Woodward
Woodward took up his BOA role in September 2006
Sir Clive Woodward has recruited 10 sports experts to help Britain achieve its target of fourth place in the medal table at the 2012 London Olympics.

The British Olympic Association's elite performance director says the experts are the "cogs of a support programme" providing help for individual athletes.

Woodward expects the programme to work alongside schemes already under way.

Jonny Wilkinson's coach Dave Alred, is among the coaching, nutrition, sports medicine and motivation experts.

Doubts were raised to BBC Sport last month about Woodward's first year as Team GB's performance director.

But the 2003 Rugby World Cup-winning coach rejected the criticism saying he had seen "a cross-section of sports" and had met leading athletes and coaches from around the world.

The programme covers areas that maybe haven't been seen too much in many sports in this country

Sir Clive Woodward

Woodward has been testing the programme over the past nine months on golfer Melanie Reid, 20, a British amateur ladies champion who is about to join the professional circuit.

The pilot programme will now be extended to the Olympic sport of judo and Edinburgh's Euan Burton, who won a bronze in the men's 81kg weight at this year's World Judo Championships, will be the next athlete to take part.

The scheme will concentrate on around 25 athletes who show enough promise to be chasing gold in five years' time.

"The most important thing is identifying talent as early as we can and putting the support systems in place to ensure that they have every chance of delivering in 2012," said Woodward.

"The programme covers areas that maybe haven't been seen too much in many sports in this country but it allows (athletes) to play at the top level."

The programme, which is expected to cost about 20m, will be funded by money the BOA raises from the private sector.

But UK Sport, the body that distributes public money to elite sport, has voiced concerns this week that the BOA's fundraising could divert money from its own plans to create medal winners in 2012.

BBC Sport's Matt Slater

Woodward's work with judo player Burton will be reviewed in early 2008 by the BOA and UK Sport's Mission 2012 panel, a seven-strong group of experts which includes Woodward himself.

It is hoped that successful Olympic sports, such as sailing, rowing and cycling, will be able to dip into the programme to get expert help as they see fit.

The programme will complement the existing plans of each Olympic sport, with the decision on which athletes are involved taken by each sport's performance director and agreed through Mission 2012.

Woodward said: "My brief was to look at how we might provide talented athletes, coaches, performance directors and their governing bodies with a service that could add value and complement the excellent work already being delivered by UK Sport and our Olympic governing bodies.

"I see the future of this programme working side by side with them."

Team GB finished 10th in the medal table at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and have not finished as high as fourth since the 1924 Paris Games. It is predicted that 18 gold medals will lift the team to fourth in 2012.

The 10 consultants are:

  • Wellness - Dr Charlotte Cowie, formerly chief medical officer for Team GB at Sydney 2000
  • Athletic development - Dave Reddin, fitness coach for the rugby World Cup winners 2003
  • Physiology - Dr Marco Cardinale, research manager of Olympic medical institute
  • Nutrition - Dr Adam Carey, head of nutrition for England rugby for seven years
  • Performance management - Joanne Elphinston, works with Olympic sports, football, rugby and golf
  • Sensory motor skills - Tag Lamche, former drummer with Ian Dury and the Blockheads, works with Chelsea, Middlesbrough and Fulham
  • Performance analysis - Kenny More, consultant for UK Sport among others
  • Performing under pressure - Dave Alred, worked with England rugby team and Jonny Wilkinson
  • Visual performance - Sherylle Calder, worked with Australia Ashes team, All Blacks rugby team
  • Kinesiology - Matt Bridge, worked with cyclists and golfers

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