Athletics Weekly | Should UK Athletics Funding be reduced? - Athletics Weekly

Should UK Athletics Funding be reduced?

This topic contains 205 replies, has 34 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of saxon747 Saxon747 1 year, 5 months ago.

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 206 total)
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  • #49313
    Profile photo of 4laps
    4Laps
    Participant

    UK Athletics have not yet reached their Olympic medal target. Of course there are few more days to go for athletes to perform to the highest level and win some medals but I dont see more than 2 more medals to be won.

    Sports that failed to hit their 2012 medal target had their funding reduced by UK Sport. During this Rio Olympics,Gymnastics,Swimming/Diving who were affected by UK Sport brutal approach have performed to the highest level in Rio Olympic.

    Should UK Athletics get the same treatment by UK Sport if they dont reach their medal target for Rio?

    Read this link if you’re interested
    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/aug/15/brutal-but-effective-why-team-gb-is-winning-so-many-olympic-medals

    #49314
    Profile photo of iain
    Iain
    Participant

    Maybe we should wait until after the conclusion of the athletics for this sort of chat.

    #49321
    Profile photo of geoff
    geoff
    Participant

    The medal target is 7-9 and if UKA don’t reach it they will lose funding. Mo should win a medal, hopefully gold, which takes us to 5 so we will need a Hitchon type performance in an individual event plus at least one relay medal. We will struggle to reach the upper target and 6 or 7 medals seems the most likely.

    But you never know for sure what will happen!

    Our sport requires a massive overhaul at all levels in order to improve the elite end of the sport. UK Sport and conflicting Home Nations Sports Council policies do not help but there is much that can be done within our sport to improve.

    #49322
    Profile photo of fchd
    FCHD
    Participant

    Looks like Hockey has now met it’s target, only Rowing has missed so far with Canoeing looking likely to do so as well and it’s too early to say for both Triathlon and Modern Pentathlon, neither of which have even started yet.

    Every other sport has met the target, so if (and it is only an if at the moment) Athletics falls short it is certainly to be expected that a funding drop is likely.

    #49378
    Profile photo of 4laps
    4Laps
    Participant

    Our sport requires a massive overhaul at all levels in order to improve the elite end of the sport. UK Sport and conflicting Home Nations Sports Council policies do not help but there is much that can be done within our sport to improve.

    I think more funds should go to local clubs with local councils assistance.
    Grass roots athletics is where it all begins.

    UK athletics should encourage more field events in grass roots and elite athletes.
    More money is spent on sprinters and relay events with poor performances throughout for over a decade.
    Drastic improvement is needed for UK athletics after this Olympics.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Profile photo of 4laps 4laps.
    #49379
    Profile photo of

    But of course before the OG there were plenty of posters here who believe that a maximum number of athletes should be chosen for GB teams irrespective of the fact that we all know that many of them would be happy to be going whether they would underperform or not. A sort of reward system.
    I do not think that UK Sport sees it the same way. Far too large a team for a sport which punches below its weight .. too much spent on Funding.
    GB will not be able to rely on Jess, MO or Greg maybe for much longer.

    #49380
    Profile photo of

    In addition we may be able to ignore the endless self admiration by our sprinters for themselves… mostly over hyped and over rated. Even our two best sprinters left their best in 2014 at the Europeans( at least Gemili was honest in interview last night) and last year in Beijing as far as DAS was concerned..

    #49381
    Profile photo of mrme
    MrMe
    Participant

    Don’t expect a funding cut to have some radical effect on the number of athletics medals we achieve. Track and field is highly competitive and medals are special and hard to come by. I would argue that getting to a final is an achievement in itself. If you want medal after medal then cycling/rowing/Paralympics is the way to go.

    #49383
    Profile photo of stevek26
    SteveK26
    Participant

    What do the following all have in common…….

    Caddick, Langford, Ujah, Edoburun, Hylton sisters, Nielsen sisters, Bundy-Davies, Miller, Bianca Williams, Jodie Williams, etc etc ?

    Answer …. young athletes showing no sustained progression as senior athletes.

    I could have added Gemili, Somers, Z Hughes, Fincham-Dukes, S Richards and quite a few others, but there might have been an injury or two preventing progression in their cases.

    But you get my point? Its a long list and by no means exhaustive.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Profile photo of stevek26 stevek26.
    #49390
    Profile photo of sportmanager
    sportmanager
    Participant

    Less funding may result in lesser performances logic would suggest but in reality would it? I have to agree with comments made above about talent that just does not develop. How can we criticise Gemille or the infectiously charming D’Asher Smith especially when they made finals. However, DAS should have looked at last season as a springboard to better things but most are not confident that she and others will not progress significantly over the rest of their careers?

    We have the likes of HAA on Question of Sport and lording around with his other buddies being ‘personalities’ but he stands out as one who is symptomatic of the problem. Not only are they not able to secure a place in the team as an individual but if they do achieve a qualifying time – they make no progress and their ambition is to prgress beynd their heat. This is not a personal dig at HAA but for some reason they did a documentary on him and it seemed like rather than showing sacrifice, dedication and all that corny stuff- it presented a young man who seemed more interested in his social life. Again that is not a dig at him but seems to be how many of these athletes get by.

    Watching the Offili sisters talk after their race – cindy looked gutted on the track in her interview-maybe that because she is from the US where the attitude is totally different.

    Reducing funding and letting some of these athletes a little bit more hungry and dedicated do them some good. I am not sure Track and field can justify the numbers on funding with the miserly return and a little bit like swimming (until this year) they have not really improved since lottery came to be in terms of medals. I think there is more strength in depth across may events but not at the elite level.

    I think our top athletes ambition is lottery – getting free tris around the world for pointless training even though we have access to the best facilities now!

    Most of the funding goes to administrators, coaches and backup staff who outnumber the athletes. I think that a reduction in funding may inspire a change in the structures and makea coaches and staff in general accountable and the athletes maybe looking to take more ownership of their situation. Jasmin Sawyers displayed a good attitude to it all. I am looking hard at any more individual medals outside Mo!

    I do think there needs to be a restructure -let go all of the staff – appoint a new ceo then head coach who can then pick a team.After 4 years- they have to reapply and failing events get new appointees.Ruthless but essential

    #49398
    Profile photo of 4laps
    4Laps
    Participant
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Profile photo of 4laps 4laps.
    #49403
    Profile photo of 4laps
    4Laps
    Participant

    GB will not be able to rely on Jess, MO or Greg maybe for much longer.

    I am not sure Mo is sure of a gold medal. If he gets a silver, I think he should regard it as an excellent achievement.
    He looked tired in the 5000m qualifications. Yes running 10000m as well as the heat in Rio take their tools, but I’ve noticed other athletes look more confident, tactically stronger than Mo and have more in the reserve.

    Mo, Jess and Greg wont win any medal in the next Olympics in my opinion. So the big dilemma for UK Athletics in the next Olympics is where would the medals come from.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Profile photo of 4laps 4laps.
    #49405
    Profile photo of justrunfast
    justrunfast
    Participant

    The only real issue I have with funding is how many athletes get injured while on it this is something that needs to be addressed and BA never seem to mention it, if athletes aren’t even being kept healthy they have no chance to begin with. The PSD and Nelson situations never seem to be talked about how on earth have these things even happened?

    #49409
    Profile photo of 4laps
    4Laps
    Participant

    I

    The only real issue I have with funding is how many athletes get injured while on it this is something that needs to be addressed and BA never seem to mention it, if athletes aren’t even being kept <span class=”vm-hook-outer vm-hook-default”><span class=”vm-hook” style=”color: rgb(0, 153, 0); border-color: transparent transparent rgb(0, 153, 0);”>healthy</span><span class=”vm-hook-icon” style=”display: inline-block;”></span></span> they have no chance to begin with. The PSD and Nelson situations never seem to be talked about how on earth have these things even happened?

    If an athlete get injured they should get their full funding for up to 6 months, after that their funding should be reduced by %50 until they recover fully.
    Sometimes injuries are self inflicted or sustained through bad coaching.

    #49413
    Profile photo of justrunfast
    justrunfast
    Participant

    One thing I do know is that our current medalists at Rio, Jess, Greg, Mo and Sophie have not had any major injuries in the past two years and they have medalled or reached true world class.

    This isn’t a coincidence

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Profile photo of justrunfast justrunfast.
    #49461
    Profile photo of fchd
    FCHD
    Participant

    Looks like I was 24 hours too early in writing canoeing off, a silver today has seen them meet their target. Triathlon too has just met the bottom end of the expectation thanks to a certain pair of brothers.

    Do the medals achieved by the Paralympic athletes get added to the Olympic ones for an overall quota, or are the two sides of the sport assessed separately?

    #49477
    Profile photo of trackstyles
    trackstyles
    Participant

    Reducing funding and letting some of these athletes a little bit more hungry and dedicated do them some good. I am not sure Track and field can justify the numbers on funding with the miserly return and a little bit like swimming (until this year) they have not really improved since lottery came to be in terms of medals. I think there is more strength in depth across may events but not at the elite level.

    I always think medal tables are a dangerous barometer for measuring the health of the sport – the difference between Jess winning gold or silver last weekend tells us nothing about whether what we’re doing as a sport is right or wrong but probably means the difference of several positions on the athletics medal table.

    However… since it is a popular measure I figure it’s worth looking at the following GB medal table positions (world champs not Olympics as data was easier to gather):

    91: 5th
    93: 4th
    95: 13th
    97: 10th
    99: 12th
    01: 19th
    03: 30th
    05: 16th
    07: 11th
    09: 8th
    11: 6th
    13: 7th
    15: 4th

    Assuming the seeds were sown for the poor performance during the early naughties in the years before lottery funding was introduced (and/or in its early years as the system found its feet), I’d say the recovery since then reflects rather well on the funded era. I believe placing tables (demonstrating top 8 strength) and the all athletics rankings (demonstrating top 50 depth) show similar trends. Plus count up the number of British records in the past couple of years, which have been set across sprints, jumps, throws, middle distance, endurance, walks, multis… make no mistake, the current cohort is one of the best ever produced in this country.

    That doesn’t mean there aren’t issues or things which could be done better and it will be interesting to see where things go from here. I think the next few years are pivotal. But some perspective is required otherwise the wrong ‘solutions’ (such as “let’s copy cycling!!) start gaining traction…

    For the record I don’t think there is a direct link between funding and medals in athletics as there is in, say, cycling.

    #49482
    Profile photo of

    Less funding may result in lesser performances logic would suggest but in reality would it? I have to agree with comments made above about talent that just does not develop. How can we criticise Gemille or the infectiously charming D’Asher Smith especially when they made finals. However, DAS should have looked at last season as a springboard to better things but most are not confident that she and others will not progress significantly over the rest of their careers?

    We have the likes of HAA on Question of Sport and lording around with his other buddies being ‘personalities’ but he stands out as one who is symptomatic of the problem. Not only are they not able to secure a place in the team as an individual but if they do achieve a qualifying time – they make no progress and their ambition is to prgress beynd their heat. This is not a personal dig at HAA but for some reason they did a documentary on him and it seemed like rather than showing sacrifice, dedication and all that corny stuff- it presented a young man who seemed more interested in his social life. Again that is not a dig at him but seems to be how many of these athletes get by.

    Watching the Offili sisters talk after their race – cindy looked gutted on the track in her interview-maybe that because she is from the US where the attitude is totally different.

    Reducing funding and letting some of these athletes a little bit more hungry and dedicated do them some good. I am not sure Track and field can justify the numbers on funding with the miserly return and a little bit like swimming (until this year) they have not really improved since lottery came to be in terms of medals. I think there is more strength in depth across may events but not at the elite level.

    I think our top athletes ambition is lottery – getting free tris around the world for pointless training even though we have access to the best facilities now!

    Most of the funding goes to administrators, coaches and backup staff who outnumber the athletes. I think that a reduction in funding may inspire a change in the structures and makea coaches and staff in general accountable and the athletes maybe looking to take more ownership of their situation. Jasmin Sawyers displayed a good attitude to it all. I am looking hard at any more individual medals outside Mo!

    I do think there needs to be a restructure -let go all of the staff – appoint a new ceo then head coach who can then pick a team.After 4 years- they have to reapply and failing events get new appointees.Ruthless but essential

    I agree very much with the points made. Lack of ambition and over hyping need to be addressed.

    #49484
    Profile photo of

    Our middle distance guys are poor in comparison to earlier times. Take away MO and what have you got in the 800, 1500m,5k and 10 k and steeplechase. Well before Lottery funding started, a great number of our athletes were superior to todays spoilt athletes. All that warm weather stuff has achieved very little, in my opinion.
    The GB women are better in the middle distances and in the 400m without Co we have little or nothing; two Americans in the short hurdles and a little over rated athlete in top world terms in the 400m Hurdles.
    I must admit that the women in the United States in middle distances, Steeple and even longer distances are proving that the excuse about East African superiority is a very convenient excuse.
    Goodness our multi eventers from Jess in the short hurdklles in 2012, to KJT in the HJ and LJ show up the paucity of talent.

    #49492
    Profile photo of stevek26
    SteveK26
    Participant

    I’m afraid to say I agree with much of the above.

    I do think Eilidh Child is a very decent athlete , though.

    #49495
    Profile photo of justrunfast
    justrunfast
    Participant

    Ok Jeremy and Co while you are right your moans, pointing out the obvious and talking about the good ole days is boring. I have a question for you…

    How do we improve these events specifically?

    What is the solution?

    #49553
    Profile photo of malcolmlf
    Malcolmlf
    Participant

    I have already mentioned on another post, there are 238 registered tracks in England with public access. At only THIRTY-FOUR of these can throwers train without some form of restriction, or cannot throw at all. How then, even with grass roots funding for the throws, can we expect our throwers to improve, or even be coached, as at 85% of facilities they may not be able to train?

    It is not the athletes are not there, we do have coaches, but many give up in despair at the constant struggle just to be able to throw. Many tracks are being built, or upgraded with artificial infields and unfortunately, there are a number of clubs that are happy just to have a track to run round. Harsh? probably, but also a fact.

    New coaching schemes, new administration, more funding, all mean little to throwers in this country who’d just like to be able to train. If not at a track then at a near, or adjacent throws area, which would create a much safer environment for ALL users.

    Should we follow Nigel’s suggestion, that after each Olympic cycle we sack the coaches of poor performing events. That would be fair if all events were able to function similarly. The throws not only are not on a level playing field, they’re not even allowed onto the field!

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Profile photo of malcolmlf malcolmlf.
    #49568
    Profile photo of saxon747
    Saxon747
    Participant

    Funding of sport in the UK is very political and based on participation. Athletics is well funded due to increased recreational participation. The NGB’s understand this so put emphasis on building and supporting that aspect of their sport. It is quite simply a viscous circle.

    IMO huge attention is required to ensure throwing facilities are brought up
    to a minimum standard around the country. This season I have officiated at a number of venues where facilities have been marginal, including pitted circles, broken cages and poorly marked sectors. This should be a priority.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Profile photo of saxon747 saxon747.
    #49606
    Profile photo of leadleg
    LeadLeg
    Participant

    It is also access to equipment, and from a coaching perspective that means a whole range of implements and coaching aids.

    #50006
    Profile photo of marcus
    Marcus
    Participant

    In the interests of fairness, I think it should probably be mentioned that tonight they hit the medal target of seven. I do agree with most of the points raised in this thread though.

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