As an athlete myself and former employee of Grant Thornton UK it is fantastic to see the firm supporting UK Athletics. The motivation for GT is stated below by Kylie Roberts

This partnership direction could not come at a better time with athletics at a critical stage with the leaders (Farah and Bolt) leaving the sport after 2017 and the IAAF senior leadership controversy.

As a training member at Reading AC and more specifically The Rob Squad we pride ourselves in leadership, preparation, commitment and hard work. These are attributes that resonate well with all high performance athletes and business people. 

In my opinion Athletics in The UK will see more specific training squads backed by commercial brands, such as the world known Oregon Project or Team New Balance in Manchester. 

I train alongside The UK's top athletes who are still needing to seek charitable support to ensure they can reach London 2017 or Tokyo 2020. More commercial expertise and interest will help to solve this problem. 

Whilst GT will be able to translate the athletics culture into business I believe they are going to firmly position themselves at the heart of an ever growing ecosystem. This is a real monetary ROI for GT and with mass participation growing in athletics the influencer model will kick in. 

That said, I am yet to hear more about the partnership at my club and I know for a fact the talent acquisition upside to GT's regional businesses in attending their local clubs would pay dividends.