Coe launches UK performance drive

UK Athletics has launched a new performance drive to help deliver its aim of having British athletes reaching 50% of the 2012 London Olympic finals.

The “Power of 10” scheme will strive for at least 10 athletes in every age group achieving times, distances or heights better than predefined targets.

“Winning medals is partly about setting targets and exceeding them,” said 2012 London Olympics chairman Lord Coe.

“This is about creating an environment where mediocrity is unacceptable.”

The programme is a partnership between UK Athletics and the governing bodies for the sport in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

And the aim is to increase the success rate for British athletes. Over the last six world level competitions, British athletes qualified for 33% of the finals.

Targets have been set in 1,233 events across the age groups, both regionally and nationally, and 35,000 athletes will be ranked by the end of 2006 so their progress can be tracked.

“Failure is not an option. These next six years are the best opportunity athletics could ever have to transform our sport,” said UK Athletics chief executive Dave Moorcroft.

"We have got to change the culture. Lord Coe described our sport as being in danger of drifting towards mediocrity.

"We have to replace that with energy, confidence and vitality.

"The Power of 10 is not just another initiative, or a list of athletics rankings.

“It is a year-on-year drive for greater strength in depth across all events and all regions.”

UK Athletics chief David Moorcroft admits the entire 2012 Olympics will be deemed a failure if Britain’s track and field team does not achieve success.

Moorcroft helped launch an initiative aiming to ensure Britons reach 50% of the track and field finals in 2012.

He told BBC Sport: "This is a call to arms, a challenge to go for it.

“We could stage the greatest Olympics ever, but unless the GB athletics team is successful, it would be seen as a failure. The responsibility is huge.”

Moorcroft was speaking at the unveiling of the new “Power of 10” scheme, which will strive for Britain to have at least 10 athletes in every age group achieving times, distances or heights better than predefined targets.

It is hoped this will ultimately enable Britain to achieve its goal of having athletes in 50% of finals in 2012.

“We’ve got everybody in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and across the English regions on board,” the UK Athletics chief executive said.

"Now it’s time to see if they can get the clubs, cities and counties on board too.

"It requires everybody to think ‘how do we get somebody above the threshold?’ I think they will, and 2012 gives us the best incentive.

"Maybe youngsters now are looking for more immediate success than people were in my day.

“But we’ve got to adapt our sport to the way the world is, not the way we wish it was.”

A website will allow athletes to see how they measure up against their rivals.

“Using web enables us to connect with the athletes. With this, they can immediately see where they stand,” the former 5,000m world-record holder said.

“Hopefully the 2012 dream is something the kids will want to take on. The fact the Olympics will be in their back garden will mean they really want to go for it.”

If failure is not an option, I guess they’ll just have to underachieve :smiley:

Moorecroft says" Failure is not an option." This may well be true as the word “option” implies an alternative.
The concept of “Power of Ten” means spreading finite resources across a huge spectrum of events and ages to achieve pre-set standards which meet funding criteria but may well have no impact in the only area of real consequence- Olympic Performance. It sounds good and sets the bar low enough that you can’t miss (With such a scheme you could be deemed 90% successful without meeting any of the standards at the highest level).
I’m sure Andy Norman is somewhere turning the air blue as we speak!

As usual good insights. This was the thing i didn’t get about the scheme but couldn’t articulate. It seems odd that at one point they talk about podium athletes being the only ones on funding and on the other the idea that we need a greater breadth of athletes running 20.8 for the 200m. Well i guess the more people running 20.8 the greater the chance of people running 19.8 but the two are separated by a chasm. And with sprint performances improving at the top (9.77, 19.6, 43.6) it is growing every day.

How about the power of 1.

At any one time UK produces 2 or 3 good sprinters in each of 100/200/400. But they don`t make that international podium standard.
The injuries the 400 runners get are a particular bad point.

The power of 1 is to hire CF or Clyde Hart or John Smith or Trevor Graham …

Not another press release with some magic voodoo initiative. All talk and very little action. We have these super dooper facilities (EIS) yet if your not on the World Class program, you can find somewhere else to train?

You HAVE coaches. If you had them before they are still around and there are others who can do it. Waiting for a coach to come along is just as much folly as waiting around for a good athlete!! You create both with the right circumstances and the right objectives.

Trevor Graham is a joke. I watched that cat coach and it looks like a circus. We all know what the real deal holy field.

Then it should be no problem for you to produce more than him. BTW, take it from me, coaching a large group of sprinters IS a circus.

I doubt we’ll win one track and field gold in 2012. Montreal 76 anyone?

Whatever he does, all his athletes run in a similar fashion and produce results. So somwhere along the road he is imparting knowledge and stamping his “technical model” on them.

As for coaching a large group. I struggle with 5-8!

Trevor’s a joke? Then the punchline is multiple Olympic gold medals.

I have to admit that until about three to four years ago, I was in total agreement with the above statement. I never felt like TG was getting results with the talent he was was so fortunate to work with. Marion’s performances got worse every year she was with him-at least after the first year.

I believe that TG finally began to adjust his training program to one at least similar to a CF program. He finally began taking cues from the program that TM was in 2002 that helped to produce the then wr. I personally(just a hunch)feel that he learned a great deal as a coach from implementing a CF training program for TM during that year.

By the way it looks as though Shawn Crawford is at least back on his way to being the sprinter he was two years ago.

Yes, my favorite line is- he’s lucky cause he has the athletes. Every top coach gets hit wit the same carping

Far too early to tell. there’s still time for a sea-change and things can go well!

Some good results coming from Michael Afilaka’s group david