National governing body announces a five-year “strategic partnership”

UK Athletics (UKA) has announced a five-year “strategic partnership” with Grant Thornton UK LLP, with the aim of making the national governing body one of the world’s leading high-performance sports organisations.

The announcement comes as UKA prepares to host a number of global events in the coming years, with the IAAF World Championships and IPC Athletics World Championships to take place in London in 2017 and the IAAF World Indoor Championships going to Birmingham in 2018.

“This partnership with Grant Thornton is about building dynamic teams who can create events and environments that encourage peak performance throughout the organisation,” said UKA chief executive Niels de Vos. “Grant Thornton will provide quality individuals and resources that will provide additional support and critical thinking to the governing body above and beyond our usual means.”

London 2017 will be the first time that the IAAF and IPC events will take place in the same city in the same year. More than 3300 athletes from over 200 countries are set to compete at the Olympic Stadium in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, drawing a potential crowd of over 1.5 million.

“If British Athletics is going to be the best we can be we need to look outside our sport and get ideas from sources where perhaps other governing bodies wouldn’t look,” added De Vos. “This is what a business would do; they look at a whole series of things and compare themselves with competitors. Good businesses will then go way outside their sector in an effort to improve and innovate, which is what we are doing by collaborating with Grant Thornton.”

UKA states that Grant Thornton, which is one of the world’s leading organisations of independent assurance, tax and advisory firms, will invest people and assets to help improve the culture and systems across the whole of the governing body.

For London 2017, Grant Thornton is set to assist UKA in the creation of the organising committee, offering strategic guidance, planning expertise and personnel.

“We believe that partnering with UK Athletics will help us on our journey to becoming a high-performance coaching organisation,” commented Kylie Roberts, director of leadership development at Grant Thornton.

“We have a vision to create a shared enterprise way of working and to do that our leaders need to be exceptional coaches and enablers.

“We are partnering with UKA to work with us on coaching excellence and likewise we work with them to create high performing teams and a high performing organisation that can excel in a volatile, uncertain, ambiguous and complex world.”