Clubs Vote on British Restructure

Athletes Vote On Sport’s Future
Wed 14 Sep, 9:09 AM

Club athletes are voting on the key issues relating to the future organisation of the sport in this country.

Clubs have been invited to vote on the key issues which have aroused the most controversy since the publication of the Foster Report: “Moving on - a charter for change.”

Sir Andrew Foster’s report was commissioned by UK Sport and Sport England following the Norwich Union GB team’s disappointing performances at the 2003 World Championships.

He said: "The purpose of the independent poll is to seek views of the clubs on the specific details of the implementation that have been of greatest concern to the athletics community in our consultation.

"We shall listen to their responses and refine our plans. The biggest opportunity of all is the award of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to London, which should galvanise our sport.

“I believe the proposals should provide the best possible structure for athletics in the years leading up to London 2012.”

Foster’s project will conclude in April next year with one of the most controversial proposals being the creation of a new body, England Athletics, despite continued opposition.

Nine new regional bodies are proposed to come under the England Athletics umbrella and be tasked with local delivery, superseding the role currently carried out by the Amateur Athletics Association of England.

Each region will receive its own budget and have its own council with the majority of members elected by the clubs.

Former European 5000metres champion Jack Buckner, a highly successful businessman in the sportswear world, has been tasked with implementing the new strategy.

Buckner, the project director since May last year, has been looking at financial implications and also the recommendation that all members of affiliated English clubs will pay an annual fee of £5 each to England Athletics.

Buckner and his colleagues believe the weeks before voting ends on October 25 will be critical in determining the sport’s direction and funding for many years to come.

The Foster Report lays out a route for athletics to benefit from £21million of ‘legacy funding’, the cash offered by the Government after UK Athletics withdrew from staging this summer’s World Championships following the problems over a proposed stadium at Picketts Lock.

Clubs are also being asked to vote on the governance and accountability of UK Athletics.