THE Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme has often been praised for its work in encouraging young athletes to balance studies with training.
And project staff have had to spend a lot of time working on progress reports and paperwork.
That’s why organisers of the Government-backed programme turned to North East software firm hedgehog lab to build a portal that helped them do it quicker.
“Every quarter, students would have to have a report made up,” said hedgehog lab creative director Ray Clarke. “That could take up to eight weeks work per quarter. We’ve now put in some infrastructure so it can be done in two.”
TASS was first established by then culture secretary Tessa Jowell in 2003 as a partnership between sporting governing bodies, athletes and the further and higher education sectors.
It has invested more than £24m into athletes and their support network, and helped talented sportspeople such as Rebecca Adlington and Tom Daley to achieve gold medal success.
TASS approached the lab to build an online portal which would help the people involved in the scheme to communicate better.
It has allowed students and project staff to share information more effectively, so more time can be spent on developing the young talent. Organisers also find it useful in compiling the required reports highlighting its ongoing impact.
hedgehog lab has continued to update and improve the platform after its roll-out.
Clarke said: “What they’ve sometimes found in the past is that some students can be tempted to let the academic side slip a little, as they are concentrating so hard on their sport.
“But if they suffer an injury down the line, they may need that education to fall back on. This portal helps them to balance both training and learning.”
Jo Burnham, communications and events officer at TASS, said the network is now used by everyone from coaches to advisers, athletes to administrators.
She said: “We have seen a radical change in how we operate, particularly in the areas of registration, reporting and the sharing of knowledge and information.