Podcast #54: CEO Chris Jones and England Athletics Chair Gary Shaughnessy reflect on the 2023 season

In the latest England Athletics Podcast, Chair Gary Shaughnessy and CEO Chris Jones join host Alex Seftel to reflect on the 2023 season.

They discuss how all levels of the sport can benefit from an excellent World Athletics Championships and Commonwealth Youth Games, before talking about the priorities for the future of athletics and running including supporting clubs and competition providers who are experiencing rising costs. 

Chris also visits Vale of York Athletics Community to hear of their ambition to grow one of the nation's newest clubs.

We have just seen the World Championships and what an incredible performance by the Great Britain team. One of the things that really came through to me was the joy of that, but also the link to athletes at a local level.

"From my point of view, down the road is Basingstoke, and there's Ben Pattison doing incredibly well in a situation where a lot of people didn't expect him to get a medal. He also did it with a smile on his face.

"Seeing that in the Olympics would be a wonderful thing for us to continue to do. We've got a multi-billion pound sport globally but hopefully it's a sport that is also incredibly relevant to eight, nine, ten, eleven year-olds locally. We've got to make sure we keep building that." 

Gary Shaughnessy, England Athletics Chair

"Rising costs are affecting everyone. We try and balance need with proportionality, taking into effect what we need to deliver and support the sport on an ongoing basis, generating funds to invest in important areas such as coach and officials' development, facilities investment, maintenance and development.

"We need world-class performers inspiring the next generation, but it's fruitless if you haven't got that infrastructure and system in place at a local level to harness that interest. 

"We do need to work around growing the breadth and depth of volunteering in our sport, we do need to think about evolving our competition offer at all levels, in some cases easing the burden on volunteers."

Chris Jones, CEO of England Athletics

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Photo by Chris Duffner

Articles in this series

The Role of a Welfare Officer