This topic contains 24 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Mark W 4 months ago.
Looking at the turn out of athletes (over 300) the Solihull BMC Grand Prix on Saturday 13th May, appears to be a success on many levels. Some excellent results by both men and women in 800, 1500, and the longer distances in including steeplechase.
The only thing that looks odd to me was the NGB agreed to the race licence on the very same day of the County Champs. Or do other posters think that it does not really undermined the numbers and quality that would/could have attend and supported their County Champs.?
As a Midlands let me assure you very few people care about competing in the senior county champs.
With this one the authorities are damned in certain quarters whatever they do. If they refuse to allow permits to meetings on County Championships weekend they will be accused of restricting the freedom of athletes and their coaches to do what they think is best. If they allow meetings to take place, they are supposedly undermining the County Championships.
The fact that so many chose another option to the Counties, speaks volumes about what they and their coaches think are a bigger priority. They, quite literally voted with their feet.
It gets to a point where middle distance is declaring itself a different sport. Athletes are happy to run in artificial races (effectively time trials) because they are slaves to qualifying times. You only have to watch the heats at ESAA for 1,500m to see what happens when they are in a real race.
England Athletics last 4 year funding plan aimed to increase participation in County Champs by 2% p.a.
We will work to support counties across England to realize a 10% increase in participation
in championships between 2013-14 as England Athletics seeks to offer more direct
technical support to counties through online competition entry schemes as well as by
seeking better partnership working between counties, Athletics Networks and schools at a
local level. We will work tirelessly to articulate the competition pathway to young people
between the ages of 14-25, aligning our coach and club development work to competition
at the local level and ensuring that athletes, their parents and their coaches understand
the importance of the championship pathway to their sustained improvement and
participation in athletics competition. We may, where relevant, seek to invest through
counties to achieve greater improvements and to achieve such alignment where
appropriate. We predict that sustained levels of growth will follow in subsequent years (a
continued 2% increase for a further three years and a 1 % increase in the final year in
Do agree with that objective Bill? Do you know if they received any funding to help towards delivering it? Do you know if they have actually achieved it? I am sure you made you last post to commend EA on their very valid aspiration and await you posting about how ABAC wish to support them in this aim.
Here what you say Noggin, and you are not wrong that why so many travel far and wide to do a BMC, and that some coaches can be influential in deciding that perhaps a new PB for their athlete in Race C or D of a BMC is better than a GOLD County Medal.
Personally , its a better achievement to be historically recorded that you were once a County Champion is more rewarding that a PB obtained at a time trail.
PIAA, The EA 2012 – 2016 Funding Application is a truly magnificent document. 10 out of 10 for presentation. If I knew nothing about our sport I would be truly impressed. Sport England were sufficiently impressed to fund this plan. But the claims can now be measured against actual achievements.
I am disappointed that you are not up to date with ABAC Fact Files because County participation levels have already been the subject of a study. Please comment once you have looked at the graphs in that report.
Bill, seriously, that is ridiculous, we both read the study (well I did from your comments you might not have read it). The figures used by Mr Whittingham were not the participation figures, if you don’t understand that then I guess there is no helping you.
Firstly, they weren’t claims they were ambitions. Secondly, do you know if they received funding to deliver this aim or not? You seem to be only referencing the BID, not what they actually got funded for. Finally Fangio is right, your study was bollocks.
Fangio. Do you think the Ngb helped support the county champs by granting a licence for a known popular BMC on the same day?
Just to clarify you are referring to a study that restricted itself to U20 and senior athletes who achieved the TOPS standards at the champs.
Either you are too stupid to realise that this does not capture all athletes of all ages of all standards or you are deliberately misrepresenting the validity of this study in evaluating the measure deliberately. I honestly can’t tell which of the two it is.
Fangio….. Do you think the Ngb helped support the county champs by granting a licence for a known popular BMC on the same day?
Funny isn’t it, when they tried to control the calendar by putting in a set date for regionals you went mental. Now suddenly you want them controlling things. Can’t win can they.
Here are some simple facts, the document you are quoting from was the original application document. England Athletics submitted it to Sport England. As is clear obvious even to ‘blind freddy’ the final funding settlement does not equate to the original bid. This is demonstrated by the need to make savings (staff reductions, amendments to certain programs such as the NCDP program etc). You make do with what you have.
There is always this alluding to Networks as if they were sacrosanct, Networks were told from day one (yes I was involved with a network), that they would be expected to be self-funding by year 3, they got an additional year or 2 out of it, however some saw it as a gravy train, others such as in Leicestershire went out and made it happen and continue to strengthen. The Network funding ended long before the settlement. They were to be vehicles of a development mechanism and greater co-operation between clubs than appears to exist at county level. As an ex-county chair, I was worn down by the persistent self-interested activities of clubs.
Therefore those that did survive are surely partners? The new staffing structure still has involvement at club level, one club, in fact, says they have had more contact with the new person than they had with their CCSO.
Which brings us to the County Championships, Yes, I was appalled to see a BMC meeting up against the traditional Competition, however why was there a decrease in numbers in a range of events? Surely, the onus is on clubs to get their athletes out on the start line. Some years ago the Chair and Secretary of the County brought a proposal to the table of having a points based competition decided on achievement and participation, two separate divisions, who discouraged the idea? Certain clubs, the same ones who have low participation.
It is puzzling to see EA blamed over the licencing matter (as we see above), it was the UKA Calendar Conference, attended by Competition providers such as the BMC, Home Federations, UKCAU and the individual Counties along with the Leagues which made the decisions. No backroom deals, nothing secret. How do I know this, I was attending another meeting at the same venue, also attended by counties where EA met to discuss what the counties wanted.
So two key questions here,firstly, why are Track & Field clubs not actively working to keep their members competing at County title level for reasons of viability (they are, after all,their championships, as it is they who constitute the county)? Secondly, are county championships fit for purpose? Do we need more combining of counties (regional level?)? The much maligned (well by the ‘big beast’ clubs and their acolytes) UKA Competition strategy, was wedded to an articulated path of titles, Counties-Area-Home Countries-National, athletes opting in and out as appropriate.