Foster calls for changes to UK athletics
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Foster calls for changes to UK athletics

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Sir Andrew Foster has published his review into athletics in the UK, entitled Moving On: A review of the need for change in athletics in the UK.

The comprehensive report – which follows five months of reviews and interviews in 2003 – has been welcomed by Sport England and UK Sport, which were jointly responsible for commissioning it.

Key points include the need to rationalise the structure and management of athletics; to earmark priority areas for the development of practice and to change the management process so that athletics can become more cohesive and ensure future progress and investment.

One of the chief recommendations is to absorb the Amateur Athletics Association (AAA) into a new body, called English Athletics (EA).

The EA would hold operational responsibility for delivering all aspects of athletics in England, apart from the management of elite athletes and anti-doping work. The structure of the EA would be balanced between a central office and nine regional hubs.

Sir Andrew’s report also makes clear that, in order for British athletics to receive the other half of the government’s £41m legacy fund, there will need to be “a suspension of the hostilities” that he believes are plaguing athletics in the UK alongside “specific developments” in athletic management seen to be occurring, and occurring quickly, before the funds are released.

Other recommendations included the advice that British athletics should “search the world” for a coach to take the sport to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Sir Andrew said: “Athletics is a tremendous sport with a great sense of achievement and a proud amateur tradition but it is not without its problems.

“I do not see it as a sport in crisis but it is a sport at the crossroads. I could not conscientiously recommend the release of significant new investment without seeing signs of a new mindset in athletics.”

Sport England chair, Patrick Carter, said: “We very much welcome The Foster Report. It tackles many of the critical issues and difficulties that are currently inherent in a high profile arena. Sir Andrew has produced a non-partisan, deliverable report, which I am sure will act as a model for other sports and their future development.”

Sue Campbell, reform chair of UK Sport, added: “The review process, and its outcome recommendations, will contribute greatly to the government’s agenda of modernisation across sport in the UK.

“We are committed to help UK athletics deliver a clear vision and route map for success, taking forward the recommendations of Sir Andrew’s review.” Details: www.uksport.gov.uk

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Sir Andrew Foster has published his review into athletics in the UK, entitled Moving On: A review of the need for change in athletics in the UK.
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