Neil Tunnicliffe has been invited to address the UK Sport / EIS Talent Team at the beginning of May on the subject of competition structures, and the principles which Wharton Consulting has applied within the review projects that it has conducted in recent times; also to share some of the findings that typically emerge from such projects. The invitation comes at a time when the Talent Team is working with individual sports with a view to improving their talent pathways – including and especially through competitive vehicles.

Neil said: “Competition reviews have become something of a niche product for Wharton Consulting, and this is an area that we think we understand pretty well. Over the last decade we have assisted major team sports in reviewing their competition structures: England Netball, in a project which helped to develop from scratch the now highly successful Netball Superleague; and the Rugby Football Union, for whom we have recently completed a wide-ranging review of all their adult competitions. More recently, in Olympic and Paralympic sports, we have worked with Archery GB, British Swimming, British Triathlon, Welsh Athletics, and now GB Canoeing, with a view to refining competition structures to increase retention, enhance profile, and smooth the way for talented athletes to the top of the sport.”

Prior to establishing Wharton Consulting, Neil’s work with the Rugby Football League saw him play a significant role in the establishment of the Super League, as well as the Academy Under-19 competition, the Student Rugby League and the Rugby League Conference – a grassroots competition for clubs outside of the Rugby League heartland, which is now a nationwide league featuring 115 teams.

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