England Athletics have published an update on the work referred to in ‘Athletics & Running: for everyone, forever’, our strategic plan to take us as an organisation through to 2021 and beyond. The plan recognised the challenges that exist for England Athletics and their family of clubs and groups and to offer a plan of action to meet these challenges as well as supporting those in the wider Athletics and Running community.
Significant progress has been made in many areas, for example the need to increase our financial self-reliance, the growth in the number of registered athletes and those engaging with our social running programme RunTogether.
In addition, an increased pace of technology adoption has begun to positively impact those administrating the sport. It would be remiss though, not to mention the challenges that remain stubborn to our interventions, such as growing the number of officials and coaches. To address this, we have taken time to reflect on our original plans to see how we can intervene to attain greater and quicker progress in those areas.
Our sport would be nothing without volunteers and we firmly believe that our sport is unique with respect to the wide-ranging efforts of our skilled and devoted volunteers. A major part of our role at England Athletics is to support the volunteers who own our sport and without whom our sport would cease. We would like to put on record our formal thanks and gratitude to all the volunteers who work tirelessly in our clubs and member bodies, as coaches, officials, teachers, leaders, administrators, event organisers and in many other roles. Our sport is proudly diverse and inclusive, and this is reflected through the volunteers that make it happen.
When “Athletics & Running: for everyone, forever” was published a number of challenges were identified alongside a deeper discussion of the way the sporting world was shifting. The most significant challenges inside our sport were identified as the capacity of our volunteer workforce, the complex and diverse needs of our clubs and participants and the issues created with so many facilities owned and/or managed by third party organisations. Beyond our specific sport the continually changing financial landscape of public funding and the slowing economy create constant challenge and the relentless developments in technology require a far more agile response than in previous years.
To create rapid and focussed action, three strategic priorities and two enablers were identified in response to these challenges and to ensure England Athletics focussed its role successfully on the needs of its members, athletics, volunteers and wider Athletics and Running community.