Announcement from UK Athletics on 10 March 2021
Following discussions with the home countries, a number of facility providers and athletics clubs, UKA have agreed to extend the deadline for venues working towards TrackMark accreditation that enables them to gain UKA competition licences. The deadline has now been extended by a further year to 31 March 2023.
TrackMark is UKA’s quality assurance scheme for outdoor track and field facilities and was introduced to raise and maintain standards of athletics facility provision and provide a safe, enjoyable experience for all users. This is a particularly important programme given that the UK’s stock of athletics track and field facilities are ageing with many now approaching their 30th birthday. A key driver of TrackMark is to provide venue operators with a professional, technical assessment of their track and field facilities alongside a time phased, costed action plan designed to achieve and maintain minimum facility and equipment standards.
Mark Munro, UKA’s recently appointed Development Director said:
“Following various discussions within the sport and along with our home country partners and the UKA board, we have agreed to extend the deadline. We do want to ensure that work continues within athletics facilities across the UK, but we clearly recognise the challenges that local facility providers and clubs currently face. As such, our absolute priority just now is a return to athletics and to support facility operators to re-open facilities and help clubs and competition providers return to some structured activities.
“This decision will give venue operators time to get back on their feet and another financial year in which to plan and budget for TrackMark inspections and any subsequent remedial work required. It also provides surety for clubs and competition providers to help them plan for the next two outdoor seasons (2021 and 2022) without the worry of whether a facility has attained accreditation or not”.
Within the latest update, the decision has also been taken to extend the deadline requiring venues seeking a Level 1 competition licence to have a World Athletics compliant /new UKA specification throws cage from April 2021 to April 2023.
However, please note, a fully compliant WA/UKA cage is required for ALL UKA licence level 2 events that include hammer or discus throw.
“When TrackMark was originally launched, there were some concerns amongst the athletics community in relation to the pressures and challenges it may place on local facility providers across the UK. I have to admit I was also one of those concerned. However, two years into the scheme, the sport is starting to reap the benefits.
“Since its inception, 30 facilities have been fully accredited and 178 are actively working towards their accreditation and 87 are at the initial stages with circa £8.7 Million being invested by facility owners and operators. This is a fantastic investment back into the sport’s hugely important facility stock and we are extremely grateful to everyone involved to this point.”
The £8.7 Million worth of investment can be broken down by the following;
167 venues commissioned Unit 1 TrackMark track surface inspections which has driven 25 full surface track refurbishments in past 24 months at an average of £300k per refurb (£7.5m).
134 venues commissioned Unit 2 TrackMark field/cage inspections which has driven 57 cage refurbishments at an average of £12k (£684,000) and 14 new World Athletics accredited cages (£490k).
There are also some excellent case studies across the country, particularly where facilities were ‘at risk’ prior to the TrackMark professional surveys resulting in new and additional investment. Two case studies are listed below.