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Sport: Talented Athlete Scholarships

Volume 687: debated on Thursday 7 December 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many individuals have received talented athlete scholarships; and how many of those individuals have achieved Olympic, world or European medal success. [HL349]

It is predicted that 2,729 athletes will have received talented athlete scholarships through the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) by the end of 2006-07. These figures break down as follows:

2004-05

920 athletes supported

2005-06

1,109 additional athletes supported

2006-07

Approximately 700 additional athletes supported (awaiting final confirmation of numbers)

Athletes on the TASS programme are not generally at the performance level to be competing at Olympic, world or European championship level. There are notable exceptions, however; for example, the silver medal won by Shelley Rudman during the Turin 2006 Winter Olympics; the three European Athletics Championship medals won at Gothenburg 2006; and the 21 medals won by TASS athletes during the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Additionally, we have seen significant performances from TASS athletes at world and European junior championships; for example, the gold medals won by Harry Aikines Aryeetey at both the 100 metres and 200 metres at the 2005 World Youth Championships.