England Athletics today welcomed the news that the sport in England is to receive £20.46million in funding over the next four years.
In partnership with UK Athletics, England Athletics delivered a submission for funding based on targeting maximum investment at the very grass roots of the sport, focussing on the essential work done by athletics clubs and coaches across the country.
Chief executive of England Athletics Mike Summers said: “It is great news that we will have £5million per year for each of the next four years.
“The announcement from Sport England shows that they share the vision presented by England Athletics and UK Athletics of channelling the funding to the very heart of the sport of athletics. The restructuring that England Athletics is undergoing will allow us to do this. This funding is both a clear endorsement of our vision and a tool with which to deliver it.
“The money will now be delivered at the point where it will have maximum impact for the sport. Athletics Networks with clubs working in co-operation with one another and other organisations in their locality will be a major priority. Coaching too will be a key focus. We know that the impact of high quality coaching is widespread, deep-seated and long lasting; we are confident that enabling higher standards of coaching over the next four years will have a positive impact on the sport long after this four year period.”
As well as Athletics Networks England Athletics is also looking to work with other partners such as Parkrun and the Women’s Running Network as part of the Run In England project. This is part of the wider goal of making enjoyment and success in the sport as accessible as possible to the maximum number of people.
Summers continued: “With this money comes accountability but that is something that we, and I’m sure the wider sport, embrace. People have a right to know their money is being used appropriately for the benefit of the whole sport. We have a responsibility to make the best use of the funding that we have been allocated.
“England Athletics is also very aware that the efforts, skills and dedication of so many people within the sport are an equally vital resource, and we take our responsibility to them just as seriously. By combining this funding with their efforts we believe the effectiveness and potential of both can be maximised.
“We are looking forward to a successful four years in the sport but want to ensure that this money and the efforts of so many people within the sport build for the future long beyond 2012.”
UKA will act as the commissioning body for all of the Sport England funding package. UKA Chief Executive Niels de Vos, who worked closely with England Athletics on the submission, added;
'Sport England's investment in to the grass roots of athletics now matches that of UK Sport into elite athletics which is essential for the health and development of the sport.
“With this funding package, Sport England have soundly endorsed the shared vision and strategy of both UKA and England Athletics. I look forward to working with England on a shared strategy designed to improve the sport from all levels from junior clubs to internationals.”
– but the sailors praise the new boats