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Moorcroft set to quit as UK chief

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Moorcroft set to quit as UK chief

Postby Javelin Sam » Thu Aug 24, 2006 12:07 pm

So Moorcroft is finally leaving then.. read about it HERE
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Postby Thornhill » Sat Aug 26, 2006 1:26 pm

Well it will make a lot of people happy, but I am not sure. Some of the papers "the Times" suggests that there will be some wholesale changes and a new Performance Director when Seb Coe comes in as Chairman and Jon Ridgeon as Chief Executive.

The sport is starting to move forward and it is not perfect but if it keeps being changed every year then how are we ever going to know it is working.

Lets be honest the unhappy voices won't ever be happy regardless of who is in charge. "doesn't matter who you vote for, the government always gets in"
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Postby Minerva » Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:53 pm

Considering all the sniping over the past year on this site I am surprised this topic has not received more coverage.

Personally I think if complete change is wanted then a young dynamic business woman is just the thing to shake things up! Then it wouldnt be long before some of the 'unhappy voices' will be begging Mr Moorcroft to come back :lol:

Now we just need to find someone who is happy to become one of the most hated figures in sport who can't do right for doing wrong.

Actually just thought - Marion Jones is probably looking for a new career move and she should have a thick skin to neagtive feeling by now. :shock:
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Postby daisy » Wed Aug 30, 2006 5:16 am

Minerva wrote:Personally I think if complete change is wanted then a young dynamic business woman is just the thing to shake things up! Then it wouldnt be long before some of the 'unhappy voices' will be begging Mr Moorcroft to come back :lol:

How about Zara Hyde ;)
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Postby Javelin Sam » Wed Aug 30, 2006 11:14 am

Michael Johnson has a lot to say for himself!!!
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Postby bevone » Sat Sep 02, 2006 11:45 am

Minerva wrote
'Considering all the sniping over the past year on this site I am surprised this topic has not received more coverage. '

In fairness to DM - I think most people have sniped about the performance side of the sport and the structures they have put in place. I have read that DM has been viewed as the saviour of the finances of the sport but I am not too sure if that is the case.

He took over after BAF bankrupted itself to avoid paying out to MS Modahl and the legacy money and lottery money was ear marked for UKA. I sem to recall that the psrots was to get 40 - 60 Million after the picketts lock thing - instead of getting a stadium and that was gradually eeked away to something like 8-16 million eventually.

Such 'state' funding on such a scale was not made available to BAF if I remember. I suppose a main criticism he may be left one to is that maybe he presided over many curious appointments and saw his staffing levels rise seemingly exponetially!

Not sure if we can blame him for the performance side as there is a PD and if you interfere too much, then you'd have to ask why you had the PD in the first place.

It will be interesting to see the job spec as I get the impression that many see this role as a performance director when it isn't! You need someone who is going to run a business and keep the various departments lean, healthy and productive. Linford, Daley, Michael Johnson are names being thrown around - are they serious? Coe/Ridgeon/ or someone from an athletics background with excellent business and mangement acumen please!
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Postby Power-of-ten-man » Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:54 pm

Daisy said! How about Zara Hyde Peters :? ?


Do you mean put her in as some form of punishment to all those who dared challange UKA, God forbid!
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Postby bevone » Sun Sep 03, 2006 2:47 pm

I think the problem most people have with UKA is that many of the top jobs (and the rest come to that) are held by not particularly impressive people.
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Postby Power-of-ten-man » Sun Sep 03, 2006 3:35 pm

I would extend that sentiment to 99% of the staff :?
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Postby Thornhill » Sun Sep 03, 2006 8:46 pm

So come on bevone and Miss Eccles....who should have a job at UKA who does not already have one, impressive people other than yourselves that is? :D
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Postby michaelw » Mon Sep 04, 2006 11:36 am

In the British Army they always used to say there are no bad soldiers only bad officers. I think the same applies at UKAthletics. There are plenty of good staff (perhaps too many of them ) but the guys at the top need to get a grip on the organisation. One only needs to read about the experiences of the javelin coach at Kingston & Poly trying to get his licence or the chaotic attempts to introduce a licencing system for endurance officials to realise that UKA's management is letting the sport down.
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Postby Power-of-ten-man » Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:49 pm

I would have James Montgomery, John Bircourt, and Michael white as a three headed head of UKA.

I would employ smoke & daisy as our spin doctors

I would have Anderson, Paish, McNab as head of coach devlopment, and Elite athlete mentors.

The rest can all go onto honorariums with a lot more coaches and officials outside the system at the moment.

Then I would use Jon to run an open UKA forum
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Postby Minerva » Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:09 pm

jennifer eccles wrote:I would have James Montgomery, John Bircourt, and Michael white as a three headed head of UKA.



Jennifer - as someone who criticises the amount of staff within UKA so much - why on earth would you want a 3 headed monster instead? :shock:

Not meant as in monster as those involved - but the fact you would chose 3 people to lead it. Surely one clear strong accountable leader would be preferable???
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Postby Power-of-ten-man » Tue Sep 05, 2006 12:51 am

Minerva please re read my post again, I did suggest that the other 120 staff go onto honorariums so more coaches and officials could be funded.

Besides 3 heads are better than one, and are more able to resist external negative influences.

The power of Three is the way forward :lol:
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Postby bevone » Tue Sep 05, 2006 9:29 am

Not bad suggestions by JE. Don't know who James Montgomery is and what his background is apart from winding up UKA all the time! :wink:

The old timers for coaching development isn't necessarily a bad idea but it is looking backwards in one respect.

I'll have to have a think about the other roles but the main one I'd tend to go with Seb Coe/Jon Ridgeon who are names already thrown into the mix but also think the likes of John Bicourt would be excellent as well.

Not sure if I would fit into the current system of UKA staff as I would modestly like to suggest that I am too sensible and clear thinking and apolitical for such roles. The porblem is that too many of these roles are political - part of an overall empire build - and also full of subordinates who aren't going to make thier line managers bad by actually being any good!

With respect to the three new development roles for the throws, sprints and distance - do we actually know what they have done so far? I think they are vital roles though but not much seems to be coming out of PR machine!
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Postby daisy » Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:17 am

jennifer eccles wrote:I would employ smoke & daisy as our spin doctors

How much pay does a spin doctor get?

But seriously, i wish they would stop throwing around ex international athlete names as possible replacements. Since when has been an ex international athlete made someone suitable for the job? If they need an administrator they could even go outside of athletics if whomever is efficient and allows those in the know to do their jobs correctly.
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Postby Glen » Fri Sep 15, 2006 2:38 pm

Daisy

Thank you. I have said that I intend to put my name forward. I am also an ex international athlete but have spent my life learning about things like administration and management. I did not just run - I worked full time too - all my running career. If you, or anyone else, wants to test me on these things or what I might want to do or not do if put in charge - feel free.

If I cannot answer you properly and convincingly, I should not do the job

Glen Grant
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Postby Power-of-ten-man » Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:38 pm

Here is my question, Staffing levels

How many staff would you keep or change, how many staff are required to perform its function as a NGB.
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Postby Glen » Sun Sep 17, 2006 3:08 pm

Jennifer

That depends totally upon what you consider what UKA should and should not do and the number of functions you keep in-house. My personal view is to make sure that the centre is only involved in core business and not interfering with the day to day working of other activities. Better to provide a clear goal, authority to act and resources and let others better placed get on with it. The larger you become as an organisation the more inefficient you become because you add layers of control meetings and time wasting things that radically affect the ability to make the core focus work. But this needs work and concensus with other organisations and people to make happen

There has got to be scope for real and radical change here. For example I can see no reason why coaching as an administrative function should be run from Birmingham. It merely adds another decision making problem to the main organisation. We could better persuade a proper (professional) organisation to do this (like the BMC could easily do for running) including standard setting and award giving etc etc. We should certainly not be involved in the day to day coaching of athletes. In that path lies madness. It just eats time and energy and for no better result. Training and educational weekends and camps for coaches and athletes probably yes, more no. But need we duplicate what the BMC does really well for example?

The question about size really can only be answered by making changes and then making that change sustainable. I would make this work but you cannot just throw away the baby. This will not be a simple process because you need to make other things work in tandem and they will require people like you to agree and then take up some of the load. A heavy dose of persuasion will be needed here.

So no simple answer but rest assured I am not a person who likes to recruit someone else just because I do not know the answer. I hate waste and I understand capitation rates of employees.
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Postby Power-of-ten-man » Sun Sep 17, 2006 6:21 pm

Hi Glen, not a bad start :)

What would you do with the athlete contracts ?
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Postby Glen » Mon Sep 18, 2006 7:30 am

Jennifer

Well we have saddled ourselves with this one and as legal matters go I doubt that we can change this in a hurry. In effect UKA has become the employer of 250 (or so) sick and injured people. I am not personally convinced that the sports administrative body should be engaged in this sort of thing. The athletes may be the shop window but I cannot see why it is better to isolate them now rather than reinforce the structures that got them there. What extra benefit do we gain. I am not convinced of the need to coerce them to run in championships argument. personal responsibility is a much stronger pull.

But I woke thinking about this last night. There are good arguments for keeping the status quo in this respect because we now have it in place . But my feeling is that it will become another 10 headed monster that eats time, distracts from the main task of running the sport and reduces the capacity to deal with other vital work. It can have motivational effects on the athletes but these need clarifying and using (see my article in AW)

What is not clear is, what is the resource liability for UKA in servicing the contracts. I hope that will this be limited, especially in areas of medical support etc.

So the options I would see are:

Leave as it is as part of UKA and try to make it work without destroying the organisation

Hive it off to an agency that effectively has the preformance director as MD

Drop the contracts down a level to the other structures like Wales, SCAAA etc (or whatever we will have left working by then)

Drop the contracts even further to the clubs and pay them a management fee to deal with the task.

Stop contracts and release the money in different ways (for attendance at internationals and Championships for example.)

Another good or radical idea that I have not yet thought of. (thoughts please)

All these need hard thinking, cost benefit analysis, discussion with the sport and other sports and then the best one chosen.

If we are going to change the sport then policy must be made properly and deliberately, the options made clear and with public discussion at all stages. I like concensus if possible and would move slower to get it.

Too soon to call a solution yet on this one. I need to see the sums.

Glen
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Postby Power-of-ten-man » Mon Sep 18, 2006 11:48 am

Hi Glen some good thoughts there :D

Also it would be good to consult with the athletes to see what they feel about the imposition of contracts.

I have always though it would make sense if we had seperate parts to our sport, for eaxmple.

An independent Coaching body to increase coach numbers, improve coach education, and free it from political restraints, so it is always an effective body despite what happens else where in the sport.

A very similar body for Officials with the same remit, growth and devlopment, I also feel Officials need a little more from the sport they get at the moment, free Blazer, travel expenses, equipment etc, and like coaches a great deal more respect than they get at the moment.


A body which provides all mannner of competition, coupled with the facilitity providers.

An Elite Athlete body (UKA)

An Athletes Union, a body which protects the interests of the Athletes

Sports Science and Medicine,

Clubs (ABAC)

English Schools

Etc Etc, I have a good few more but these are the major ones.


Each one would be independent and funded properly and all would work Independently but as one for the benifit of the Athletes/Athletics.


What are your opinions on such an idea Glen? :D
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Postby Glen » Mon Sep 18, 2006 12:10 pm

Jennifer

I agree the ideas totally in principle although I understand one or two things may be harder to implement in reality. We need to look at all the options we can and find those that empower, attract and excite.

What we did in BMC was to authorise the volunteers to run things with clear objectives, reporting timelines and a budget. In all cases we started to make a profit and volunteers came out of the woodwork everywhere. Now this level of activity and method of working virtually runs itself without too much official interference or control.

This concept may take time to get moving but i would also want to see the officials and coaches linked firmly to professional bodies so that their skills and abilities are recognised as transferrable into the workplace. The same with NUTS etc etc. This is a key thing to attract the young. Anything doing with our sport should count firmly as work experience and we should be quick to provide certification and support for job applications based upon performance.

I agree about the status of officials. We also need to be more innovative about dress to attract the young. Prizes for fashion even!! Why should we be boring - accurate and good yes - boring no thank you.
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Postby sleady » Mon Sep 18, 2006 12:10 pm

....and 6 layers of administration to manage it all together with 6 warring factions....
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Postby Glen » Mon Sep 18, 2006 12:11 pm

Not with me in charge there wont be. I dont do layers!!!!
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Postby Dennis » Mon Sep 18, 2006 2:41 pm

Glen - continuing the theme of "thorny issues" where do you stand on the membership scheme?
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Postby Glen » Mon Sep 18, 2006 3:01 pm

Dennis

That is a good question. But a few thoughts before I answer. I currently have mixed views on this in athletics because I cannot see what benefits are really going to be delivered (not just said). I have been a member of the British Orienteering Federation for a long time (although not at present because i am abroad) and they showed clearly each year where the money was spent. The Club kept some, the Area some and the Federation some. I never felt short changed. Each area and club took different amounts so you could soon see if you were in cheap club!!!! here in Estonia I am registered for the local orienteeing league and I dont resent that either. Someone has to stay up nights to put results on the net.

With athletics I can understand the need to register to increase the financial power of the associations. The real numbers give huge strength when bargaining for resources and sponsorship and for understanding the needs of the sport. And today whether we like it or not we get nowt for nowt from government. They want to see figures. But I agree that at the moment we are not getting to see what the value is.

I also quite understand the argument that lots of road runners just want a local jog and dont want to register. Well that is possible in orienteering too but you cannot win prizes or enter certain level of events!!! That forces a reality check as you get better. In effect joggers are not excluded but they have to stay joggers!

But this lack of clarity of the whole subject is typical and is partly at the heart of many of our problems. To make a policy there should be a clear and detailed background set out with arguments for and against (not two sides against each other) and then a proper public discussion against this background. Then we produce costed options and then we argue them down to the best solution. Too often in the past we seem to have started with the solution and then sought for the reasons. Costs have been avoided. Not a clever way to do business.

But you asked a direct question. My answer is yes - but not until there is clear evidence that in doing so we as a sport are giving and getting value for money. It must also be simple and club based, not a monstrous central system.
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Postby Dennis » Mon Sep 18, 2006 3:32 pm

But this lack of clarity of the whole subject is typical and is partly at the heart of many of our problems. To make a policy there should be a clear and detailed background set out with arguments for and against (not two sides against each other) and then a proper public discussion against this background. Then we produce costed options and then we argue them down to the best solution.


We had been led to believe that the scheme would be "marketed" to us. When the survey vote went against the introduction of a scheme again we were told that it wouldn't be imposed until these was better agreement. But it seems we are going to have it "dumped" on us anyway from next year and details of what we would get out of the scheme seem to be unobtainable (certainly on the web).

Given the background of the poor relationship between UKA and clubs and club's low level of confidence in the NGB, wouldn't it be better to work on a better relationship first rather than railroading through a potentially divisive membership scheme?
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Postby Power-of-ten-man » Mon Sep 18, 2006 8:36 pm

Hi Glen understand where you want to go with coaching, but I am a firm believer it should stand on its own, there is no reason why it cannot offer what you want by being independent.

Such things can be achieved, It is not difficult to create a new recognised proffesional body of coaching...or officiating which offers a useful qualifcation, though it would be much more specific to coaching and not just academia for its own sake.
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Postby Glen » Tue Sep 19, 2006 7:00 am

Dennis

I am inclined to agree with you. But like all these things, whoever takes over must deal with the reality as it is and not as she/he would like it to be. I think that with many things we are in a mess , and this is one of them. I am sure that UKA found themselves under considerable pressure to implement this from UK Sport or others and did not have the skills to make it attractive to voters.

Jennifer

I am with you on this and think that a professional body like one of the business institutes is the best road to follow because they will not be distracted by political correctness. Results and cost benefit will count for all. The problem will be shifting the current system towards this. We may have to go in stages. We have a huge legacy of muddling through and doing things on the cheap to counter. As Dennis points out, half the skill will be in taking people along rather than imposing. We need all the volunteers and many will not want to pay unless they see real benefit. That is the real challenge.
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