What we do

Investment categories & criteria

We have clear investment principles and criteria that provide the framework for building greater success across a wide range of sports within these categories:

  • Winter Olympics & Paralympics
  • Summer Olympics & Paralympics
  • Commonwealth Games
  • Sports of international and community significance to Scotland

We work within the best interest of Scottish sport at all time and are working closely with the Scottish Performance Forum to create a truly world class system that is underpinned by the right high-performance culture, philosophy, set of beliefs and values. Duty of care is at the heart of our operational ways of working for both athletes and performance staff.


Our high-performance system requires close collaboration between key partners that enable us to provide high-performance environments which are sport-specific and are conducive to the right training behaviours and environments. We work closely with universities, colleges and schools as well as local authorities to achieve this at all levels of our performance pathways.

We work closely with Winning Students to encourage athletes, where appropriate, to pursue an educational career alongside an athletic career. This initiative, funded by the Education Council, has proved invaluable and very successful in preparations for major championships.

Our approach

At the sportscotland institute of sport our clear outcome focus is preparing Scottish athletes to perform on the world stage. The approach we take is equally important and working closely with our high-performance family, we apply this important framework:

  • High challenge
  • High support
  • High integrity

We work with governing bodies to identify athletes and then nurture them as they progress along their performance pathway. We have a multi-disciplinary approach and endeavour to work in teams which are coach-led to improve and perfect physical and mental well-being, alongside technical and tactical skills of athletes and teams.

Each athlete’s journey starts through opportunities within an initiation and development phase. Once they are selected and assigned to a recognised high-performance programme we agree the level of support with each sport and athlete collaboratively as part of an intensive process of interaction.

When an athlete is selected to the UK Sport World Class Programme (Podium or Potential) they may move to a British programme based elsewhere within the UK and funded through UK Sport.  At all times we aim to deliver services to Scottish/British-based athletes locally or across the SIS network.

Track record & achievements

The institute has been driving forward a world class high-performance system since 2006 and over the past 10 years we have enjoyed an unprecedented period of success on the world stage, particularly in the Beijing, London and Rio Olympics and Paralympics, the Sochi Winter Olympics and Paralympics and the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Scotland is building a reputation of punching well above its demographic weight in a range of sports.

Investment & Specialist Services

As the national agency for sport, sportscotland (through the institute) invests about £5million each year into Scottish governing bodies of sport (SGBs) and their high-performance programmes. In addition we provide expert support services in the following disciplines and areas:

  • Performance Management
  • Performance Coaching
  • Performance Pathways & Talent
  • Sports Medicine
  • Physiotherapy
  • Performance Nutrition
  • Performance Lifestyle
  • Physiology
  • Special Projects & Innovation
  • Performance Solutions
  • Performance Analysis
  • Biomechanics
  • Skill Acquisition
  • Data Management
Date published: 12 July 2023
Date updated: 12 July 2023


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