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Monday 16 September 2013

Chelsea academy chosen to host UK Sport event

Club to help those in Olympic sports help to identify medal-winning talent

Chelsea's Ben Smith will talk about his experiences of overseeing a player pathway

Chelsea Football Academy has been chosen as the host of a two-day event this week as part of UK Sport’s Performance Pathway Programme (P3).

The academy at Cobham, in Surrey, was selected because it is viewed as a good example of a centralised academy model for P3. The programme was started by UK Sport in May in collaboration with the English Institute of Sport and is designed for people working in the high performance system to help identify future medal-winners in the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Among the speakers for the event, which will start on 18 September, will be Ben Smith, the performance systems manager at Chelsea, who will speak about his experiences of overseeing a player pathway at an elite club. Smith will focus on the operational model of development programme that Chelsea deliver and its key features.

The attendees, who are talent managers for various Olympic sports will hear from Neil Bath, Chelsea's academy director, and will see his talent in action by watching the first half of the Chelsea Under-19's match against Basel at the academy in the inaugural UEFA Youth League.

Other speakers are Rod Ellingworth, the former British Cycling Academy Manager, who oversaw the development of Mark Cavendish and Geraint Thomas, and Tim Jones, performance director at British Gymnastics.

"For attendees, guests and speakers we see P3 as a unique opportunity for sports to share ideas, issues and more importantly look at further developing their programmes specifically for the elite developing athlete,” Alex Stacey, P3 Co-ordinator, said. “This module in particular is well timed for a number of sports and we are looking forward to an inspiring yet challenging two days."

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Key Points

  • Chelsea's academy to host two-day event as part of UK Sport's Performance Pathway Programme
  • Club chosen because of its centralised academy model
  • Ben Smith, performance systems manager at Chelsea, among the speakers to talent manager for Olympic sports