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Athletes and athletics fans - help needed!

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Athletes and athletics fans - help needed!

Postby TrackPride » Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:55 am

We are an initiative that is trying to inspire and support club athletes by encouraging their attendance at the UKA Major Events. We want to get as much support for the GB athletes at all of the Major events in the UK whilst giving something back to athletic club members around the country.

In the past we have offered discounted tickets to the events, chances to win training sessions from elite athletes and hospitality at the events. We are still finding that many athletic club members are reluctant to come and support the GB team at these major events.

We would like to know what would encourage more athletes to come and support team GB at these events?
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Re: Athletes and athletics fans - help needed!

Postby Eddie » Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:58 am

TrackPride wrote:We would like to know what would encourage more athletes to come and support team GB at these events?

For me? Having them at Birmingham would make them so much easier to get to.
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Postby Oleg » Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:42 pm

Put on a bigger programme of events. Even if there were no Brits involved, if some of the worlds best were throwing javelin in the UK I'd be there watching for sure. When was the last men's jav comp in one of these events? Sure it applies to many other events too.

If you can tempt people involved in the sport with the programmes that are put on then I would imagine its going to be even harder to encourage Joe Public. I wouldn't go to a meeting just because I might win a training session with someone. I would go if there was something I wanted to see.

..a javelin thrower's point of view!
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Postby Geoff » Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:38 pm

I agree with Oleg in expanding the programme or at least adding more variety. The meetings over the past few years with the exception of Crystal Palace have featured the same British athletes competing in the same old events and have become somewhat stale. I want to see the world's best in events like mens javelin, hammer, pole vault, womens discus etc. I'm sure the sight of several 80m hammer throwers or 90m javelin throwers appeals to many athletics fans even if our best British athlete is not able to match these performances.

In terms of attracting clubs and their athletes I think one of the main problems has been UKA distancing themselves from the grassroots by focussing so much of their resources on the elite end of the sport. This has made clubs less interested in pushing initiatives like this.

What about inviting all coaches to these meetings free of charge. This would encourage them to bring their athletes. Maybe a viewing area for the warm up facilities to see what happens behind the scenes.

Avoid clashes with young athletes meetings etc.

Perhaps more technical details made available on the screen. Wimbledon use a speed gun to measure the speed of serve so what about speed of release of a throwing implement, angle of release and one or two comments from top coaches on technique. Speed of approach in long/triple jump. Speed and positions every 10m in the 100m.

I know I'm brainstorming a little now but I feel some meetings are dumbed down too much and perhaps things like this may attract more spectators from within athletics.

Of course, dressing up the meets is only part of the answer. The whole sport has to become more attractive and at all levels for the crows to flock in and that includes athletes and volunteers.
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Postby Geoff » Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:42 pm

Just read my last sentence again. I didn't intend to suggest a flock of crows should fill the stadium :D . It should have been crowds!
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Postby Caroline » Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:38 pm

Haha, love the idea of the stands filled with crows :lol:

Seriously, though, I really think that we are preaching to the converted here. Club athletes don't tend to go to the major events usually because they are competing themselves, or, as has been said, the major event is too far away. However, shouldnt we be looking to get people who arent involved with athletics at the moment to come and watch these competitions?? Most, if not all, people who post on here will be watching or competing in some type of athletic event during the year.

Unless we get new spectators, and broaden the appeal we will become increasingly insular. Athletics is watched once ever 4 years by most people across the world... so why don't they come in their droves to competitions the rest of the time? I would guess that, for the most part, they don't know about it. Isn't it those people we should be appealing to, not the club athletes who are already part of the structure of athletics?
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Postby malcolm wallace » Tue Dec 16, 2008 12:43 pm

I agree that we should make every effort to put on programs where our world stars can compete. I went to Estonia this year for the European discus competition and conference. The main benefit I brought back was the enthusiasm of the two athletes that came along and the understanding they had of the effort and work required to make it to the top, for both them and the coaches.

As one of them said I never realised the amount of time you spend preparing for our sessions and working out the competitions that we are entering. I just thought you came along to training sessions and that was it and you looked up in the diary what events we should be entering.

If we could get our young atheltes to see for themselves the hard work that is required and the dedication, we could find athletes doing better.
malcolm wallace
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Postby nevetssllim » Tue Dec 16, 2008 4:27 pm

Oleg wrote:When was the last men's jav comp in one of these events?

Sheffield last year - I was there in the rain!
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