UK athletics funds distribution,10869,4854-130891-132199-20273-90499-news-item,00.html

Here is another example of the way in the UK imo funding is going to established athletes rather than facilities for club athletes, i’d like to hear people’s opinions about this.

I’ll try to gather some other links about similar funding issues and funding bias.

Here’s one about the silly ‘talent identification’ that is going on now,8510,4854-131924-133232-20931-76764-custom-item,00.html

presumably based upon the concept (myth?) that potential is strongly/completely genetically determined. Virtually all the athletes at my (small) athletics club believe this concept.

Another scheme dishing out large sums of money to the already established athletes. Why can’t this money go into the facilities, so anyone who wants to do athletics can benefit?,8510,4854-132045-133353-20982-76964-custom-item,00.html

I don’t claim to be an expert on funding for UK sport as a whole, but these schemes do not seem to be fair, imo, on the face of it.
Does anyone know how many indoor tracks we have in England/UK, and how it compares to other countries?

I hope this topic isn’t out of bounds.

Well some of the money is going to club athletes-just damn good ones! I mean some of the people in the talent ID thing have reached finals of there age group champs, and finalists of the english schools. Unfortunately UKA seems to think that these people are the ‘grassroots’ of the sport. Seems like they need a reality chek to me!!

If the objective is high performance in the short term (the next Olympics!) then the funding must be concentrated on those who have a proven record and reasonable prospects. Funding spread out to clubs would have no impact at all in this time frame.
Long term club development is a different subject and one that has only perepheral impact on high performance. Coaching education is a project that deserves the highest priority. Why have a Rolls Royce if you don’t have a driver.

Jimbo, I agree, and I’m also no expert on funding, but UK Athletics concerns seem to be for already established athletes and the 2 or 3 national centres of excellence, which are again, aimed at the high performance sector. The many problems that lie at club level are not addressed. The facilites, medical backup, coaching experience and other advise is very basic or non-existant and does not seem to have improved for years. Up and coming teenage athletes very often do not improve, or retire with injury, after the age of approx 20. Our club is hardly any different - the coaches don’t know enough and there is no medical backup. We do have the use of an indoor track through the week, but on a weekend the local authority will not open it. The club managers give little support and it is now up to several athletes to convince the council to open it. The city involved is also strongly in the running for European City of Culture???

UKA are w£nkers -
Our local hammer guy Mick Jones won Commonwealth gold and had his funding withdrawn within months as he was a couple of meters short of qualifying to their standard .
To get full funding he needs to throw more than the gold medal winning distance achieved at Sydney last olympics .
:mad: :shoot:

How about Dalton Grant and Allyn Condon having their funding removed also. Dalton is still one of our best high jumpers and has competed for UK for a long time, and I know Allyn walked out of the Europeans, but after years of service and a 2002 commonwealth relay gold this can’t be fair.

Not to change subject, but here in Norway we have…none.:mad:

yes it does appear that the aims are short-term only.

“…To achieve the overall aim of the UK being in the world’s top five sporting nations by 2012…”

Here is an example of a UK female athlete I came across while on the site. She is on the World Class Performance Programme. She has regressed in her main event (200) since the start of her funding.

Check the links to her previous diary entries. This girl was doing 6 days a week high intensity training(her words), during ‘winter training’ (I hate that term) and has been injury plagued from early 2001 slipping a disc, amongst other things.

She split with her coach - Mike Macfarlane later on in 2002.

Best Performances
year 100 200
1994 12.02 24.54
1995 nk 24.19
1996 nk 24.37
1998 11.71(0.2) 23.23(0.1)
1999 nk 24.00i
2000 11.49 23.26
2001 11.44 23.27
2002 nr nr
nk = not known, nr = not ranked
Results taken from,10853,4854-133858-135166-nav-list,00.html

She is not ranked in the 2003 indoor lists.
A waste of talent so far. :help:

It’s easy to pick out examples of failure in any system. Thats why you work on a numbers basis. If some of the people you support come through, you’ve succeeded. I don’t know the total number of athletes involved, but, based on current rankings, a female athlete who has progressed to 23.20 range is within striking range of world class and should be given the chance. Any idea what’s happened to her? How much support are we talking about here? What training camps are available and who runs them? Who’s responsible for arranging meets?

I don’t think I’ll be able to get much more information about her, as I am just using the web. I’ll try to find out how the schemes are working out overall, but I don’t think they are very old, and we might have to wait until after Athens to evaluate them, as they are partly geared towards them. I’ll admit no conclusions should be drawn from this one example, its hard for me to keep objective about it. Sorry about getting carried away about it, it was just the first one I came across, and the fact she was featured on the website.

Her prospects don’t look good. See: article from local paper

and even worse: 7 jan article

Cortisone and Sugar injections :o

If she sticks with the prolo and is prudent with her rehab I bet you she’ll be back in top shape sooner then you think.

Ditch the cortizone shots though.

I don’t want to sound cocky but I do believe the current World champs are evidence for my original point.

My opinion: a case of putting all the eggs in one basket to an extent!?

Any further thoughts?

I don’t want to sound cocky but I do believe the current World champs are evidence for my original point.

My opinion: a case of putting all the eggs in one basket to an extent!?

Any further thoughts?

I wouldn’t be sure that pouring money into elite sport is going to make British running even better.

I read an old British magazine the other day from the 1980s and Linford Christie was making the point that most of the sucessful sprinters in the UK at the time were being trained by coaches outside the system.

While money is important for high-level performance in a variety of ways, just look at the Australian Insitute of Sport (AIS). I would argue that Australia’s present track team is the worst since 1948, including 1976. The AIS was established after the failure of 1976, and Australia has done well in many sports that require vast amounts of money (cycling and swimming), but I am not convinced that it has achieved much in terms of track. Correct me if i am wrong, but Freeman, Darren Clark and Dean Capiobianco and many others achieved success without much help.

I have to admit I hate vast amounts of money being spent on elite programs at the expense of encouraging wider participation. Support the athlete, but only when he or she has reaches a certain level and maintains that performance.

‘Support the athlete, but only when he or she has reaches a certain level and maintains that performance.’

My opinion is that with the current style of funding, the number of athletes reaching that certain level in the first place is nowhere near where it could be, because of the lack of funding at grass roots. Therefore potential is wasted. How many kids are there (and coaches) who don’t seem to know even basic things about training - wasted potential!

What about all the money to be invested in the olympic bid? Seems an expensive ego massage.


that’s my point, more money should be put into grassroots athletics. In Melbourne, besides the private schools, athletics is hardly even considered in the form of proper training and clinics.

Teaching kids the fundamentals associated with track would not only provide them with an excellent source of conditioning in their teenage years as part of a school or club program, but would open an opportunity and interest for many talented youngsters. Such a program would obviously cost a lot of money but should be encouraged.

My comments about helping people once get they get to a certain standard refers to senior athletes.

I’m sorry but this is pathetic. You really don’t have any idea regarding what you’re talking about. Spartacus, you have no idea as to the levels of funding individuals in Australian Track and field recieve and a total lack of perspective regarding the state of Australian teams.

What would you reccomend we do with our various nations athletes? Leave them to scrounge around 2-3 part time jobs to pay for their domestic and international travel? Because essentially thats all they recieve substantial funding for and that itself is covered by dept. of sport and rec state institutes, not AA.

The funding and prize money that athletes in Aus do recieve from AA comes directly from Telstra sponsorship which is directly linked to the A-series and Australian Teams. So perhaps our athletes should be denied the oppotunity to earn a living via domestic and international competition.

Dig a little deeper and stop playing the role of a hard done by battler and you may actually find out what is going wrong in Aussie athletics.