Athletics powers up for 2012 medals

From UK Athletics

UK Athletics has launched a rankings scheme designed to raise standards in every Olympic athletics event in every age group and every region of the country ahead of the 2012 London Games.

“If we aren’t seeing consistent, season on season improvement, we’ll have achieved nothing,”Dave Moorcroft, UKA’s chief executive, said at the launch. “We have our goals, now we need to go out there and work together to achieve them.”

The objective of the ‘Power of 10’ is to have at least 10 athletes in every event, in every region and every age group achieving times, distances or heights better than predefined annual targets. The scheme underpins the organisation’s aim of having athletes in 50 per cent of the finals at the 2012 Games.

Moorcroft, who was joined by Lord Coe, Chairman of the London 2012 Organising Committee to launch Power of 10, believes the project marks a big step forward for athletics in the UK.

“The Power of 10 is not just another initiative, or a list of athletics rankings. It is a year-on-year drive for greater strength in depth across all events and regions. After careful analysis of world, UK and regional standards and trends, we’ve built up a clear picture of the progress we will need to make in order to produce more world-class athletes.

“We can use the data to challenge ourselves. We can see where trends are developing; what’s working and what isn’t and transfer lessons from successful regions. The rankings will be published on a new interactive website and will be updated on a regular basis which means instant recognition for good performances and a platform for season-long competition across regions.”

Lord Coe added: “Winning medals is partly about setting yourself targets and exceeding them and the Power of 10 reinforces the importance of this. It is about creating an aspirational environment where mediocrity is unacceptable. This, combined with the right structure, support, funding and most importantly coaches will enable British athletes to stand up and be counted on the international stage. The Power of 10 is an excellent vehicle to help create the highly competitive environment that is so crucial in creating champions.”

The Power of 10 forms part of Athletics’ wider strategy “which brings together all home country governing bodies. Legacy funds promised to athletics will help underpin the goals outlined in The Power of 10.

UKA says that the scheme will see some 35,000 athletes, across all regions and age groups, will be ranked under the system.

The performance target for 2012 represents a significant leap in British achievement at major championships: in the last six global championships, Britons have been represented in 33 per cent of finals, compared to the 50 per cent target for the London Games.

For further information, contact UKA’s Helen Wyeth on 07718 526 367.