Track and field is back!

Vicky Griffiths recently became the England Athletics Competition and Delivery Manager. The middle distance athlete has been a member of Liverpool Harriers for over 2 decades. During her competitive years she was an English Schools’ AA and BUSA medallist, a North of England, England, AAAs and CAU Inter Counties champion over 800m, and represented England at a number of events at home and abroad. Now she’s been in the role for a few months, we asked her what she thought about the sport and working for England Athletics.

What made you apply for your role at England Athletics?

As a former athlete, I love the sport and was excited to see the role advertised. My previous role involved working with lots of different sports and I wanted to focus on one – athletics of course was my preferred choice!

What are you most looking forward to and where do you hope to make the most impact in your new role?

In line with the new England Athletics strategy, I am keen to ensure that all changes made have the athlete at heart. I want to make sure that our National Finals are the best events on the competition calendar and that we attract the best athletes across all the age groups. I am looking forward to implementing lessons learnt from working with other sports and applying my knowledge of event management.

What competitions should we look out for leading up to the Commonwealth Games?

The Senior and Under 20 Combined events is part of the World Combined Events Tour and a silver standard meeting so we are hoping to have some great athletes from England, the home countries and across the world competing. It is also our first event of the outdoor season so very exciting!

Tell us a little bit about the new or innovative competitions taking place this year, such as the England Athletics Senior and U20 Combined Events meeting being part of the 2022 World Athletics Challenge for Combined Events

We had an England team compete at the DNA event during the indoor season which involved an exciting new format; something we will look to replicate in the future. The World Combined Events Tour is a very exciting event for us to host. With 10,000 Euros of prize money up for grabs, we are hoping to attract some of the world’s best multi eventers!

Will there be many opportunities for athletes to compete at the new Birmingham track at Alexander Stadium?

Yes absolutely! We will be looking to host events at Alexander Stadium next year!

How can fans of the sport get involved in athletics, other than competing or spectating?

If they are not at an athletics club already, I would advise heading down to their local athletics track and volunteer in the various roles – such as official, coach, club volunteer or club secretary.  Start observing or shadowing people doing the various roles and find something you enjoy most. There are lots of different courses and qualifications for the various aspects of the sport which can be supported by clubs.

What is your favourite memory from an English Championship?

I really enjoyed the Under 15 and Under 17 Indoor Combined events in March. The U17 men in particular were aiming for qualification for outdoor championships this season and it was a great battle to the very last events.

What are you most looking forward to for the 2022 season?

Athletics events being back to ‘normal’ after Covid. Athletics plays a big part in the lives of many and was sorely missed for the past two years. Whether participants, officials, or spectators, we all come together on an event day to enjoy the sport. Many have missed this interaction during the pandemic, and it is great that we can bring our athletics community back together this year to enjoy our great events.

How do you think the home games will inspire the city of Birmingham and the country as a whole?

I hope the Games has the same impact as the Olympics did in 2012. It was great to see the stadium packed for each session and so many people enjoying athletics. Hopefully it inspires people to get involved and we see a big boost in participation numbers.