At England Athletics, we are always looking for ways to improve the athlete experience in our sport overall, but especially within competition. Ensuring there are opportunities for athletes throughout the country to compete at high-levels is pivotal and we continue to work with our partners and competition providers to offer this.
At our recent Senior and Under-20 Combined Events Championships in Sheffield, we were delighted to collaborate and welcome the British Milers’ Club (BMC) on the second day of competition.
We caught up with England Athletics’ Competitions Delivery Manager Vicky Griffiths to find out more about this relationship between the two organisations.
“It is a fantastic opportunity for collaborative working across the competition providers.
“During the combined events, there is a large gap in the track timetable whilst the combined athletes are completing their field events giving the opportunity for the BMC to come in and make great use of the track time. Not only is it filling our programme, but it is also bringing in spectators to the championships and providing a competitive and electric atmosphere for the athletes to compete in.
“The joint approach is offering high-quality competition for a wider number of athletes across disciplines in both the combined events and endurance. We have certainly seen that today with Isabelle Boffey (coach: Luke Gunn; club: Enfield and Haringey) securing her European qualifying time and Sam Talbot (John Lane, City of Sheffield and Dearne) stamping his authority with a new PB and eighth on the UK all-time list!”
It is no secret that the endurance running scene in the UK is booming, with talent coming from the younger age groups right through to Britain’s best. With their Grand Prix Series now a part of the World Athletics Bronze Tour, the high-level of competition opportunities from the BMC are outstanding.
Steve Green, the BMC News Editor, explained how inspiring the next generation and offering opportunities for high quality racing is ingrained in the company’s ethos.
“Jake Wightman might be running in the 3000m A race with a young U17 club runner following in the race straight after,” he said. “This helps the athletes to believe they can do it and we have seen a lot of examples over the years with the likes of Max Burgin and Oliver Dustin, who have broken on to the international circuit.”
It is not only the younger British Milers’ Club athletes who benefit from the collaborative joining of championships and racing, Vicky details how the multi-eventers also have the opportunity to mix with the athletes.
“It is great to integrate the BMC and other races into the combined event championships as their competitions can often be very separate,” she added. “This is not something which is often done at other championships. It is an opportunity for all athletes and especially the younger ones to feel inspired by seeing the athletes perform on the track and in the field, giving them something to really reach for.”