A Critical Evaluation of the GB Rowing Start Programme
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The primary aim of this research project was to critically evaluate GB Rowing’s talent identification set up, the Start Programme, particularly focussing on the success of the programme and areas for improvement. An extensive review of the literature relating to starting out in sport and development models, high performance sport and talent ID and their interaction with British Rowing serve as the prerequisite for this comparison. A qualitative research method in the form of semi-structured interviews with participants of varying roles within the Start talent ID programme was undertaken, questioning their knowledge of the Start programme, their opinions on its success and any areas they can identify for improvement. The study found that the Start programme has been successful and identified and developed non-rowers to international standard, and World and Olympic Championships. It also successfully increases the participation rates in rowing and provides opportunities for those who normally wouldn’t have the chance, to enter a national high performance programme. There was understanding that GB Start is not the only method of getting to the GB rowing team, though the specific coaching and set up of the programme encourage the fine tuning of athletes to best prepare them for international standard rowing. There were a number of criticisms listed, none of these were major changes that the programme could make and there was not a recurring answer for the improvements, highlighting the current success of the programme and its operations.
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