Gareth Southgate has been part of an 'enormous pooling of talent' and sharing of knowledge across sport in the UK

Credit: UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Olympics20 – quick stats – article

Team GB have been sharing intelligence with England manager Gareth Southgate, sporting chiefs have revealed.

With the athletes now bidding to emulate recent footballing success, both UK Sport and the British Olympic Association describe close links with the Football Association.

England’s sharp upturn in tournament fortunes – at the World Cup in 2018 and at Euro 2020 – coincides with Southgate working closely with a core group of other sports.

Southgate, along with rugby and cricket specialists, have shared advice with Olympic sports "for a big chunk of time", UK Sport’s chief executive Sally Munday said.

The Great Britain Rowing Team are believed to be among sports who Southgate has tapped into on their winning mentality. The men’s rowing squad would usually travel abroad for their annual January training camp, but this year used the FA’s facilities of St. George’s Park in Staffordshire.

Alex Danson, who was in the hockey squad that won gold in Rio, also "went and spoke to the FA staff a couple of years ago", Munday added.

Southgate, who led England to their first tournament final since 1966, is a former participant of the UK Sport World Class Coaching: Elite programme course. He graduated in April 2019.

Munday explained: "One of the big areas of our work is around people development, and we run an elite coaching programme, which brings aspiring top coaches together over a period of time, and Gareth was actually part of that programme with us for a big chunk of time."

Olympics Newsletter Promo

Southgate, she explained, "has engaged in a number of other things". "I think one of the things that we are becoming ever better at in the UK is collaboration across the sports and collaboration across the partners that work together to make the British team that you see out here today," she added. "We welcome working with the professional sports, Gareth and others. We work with rugby and cricket and and other professional sports – there’s great collaboration."

Sir Hugh Robertson, chairman of the BOA, added: "There’s an enormous pooling of the things that work best about British sport that are now getting spread around in a way they probably weren’t 20 years ago. A lot of that sort of values based stuff is now becoming much wider spread."

Southgate has previously described how "there’s lots to be learnt across sports, with similar challenges with coaches working at a high international level, so there’s huge value for everyone on the course. Other participants include Rob McCracken, trainer of Anthony Joshua and Adam Peaty’s coach, Mel Marshall.