Podcast #56: Hurdles, the civil service and football team talks with Chris McAlister

In the latest episode, World 400m hurdles semi-finalist Chris McAlister joins the England Athletics Podcast, and England Athletics CEO Chris Jones looks back on a successful year and ahead to 2024 plans.

Chris McAlister discusses how he combines athletics with being a government civil servant.

"I have to have something to occupy my mind, give me a reason to get up in the morning and then train afterwards."

McAlister also describes the time that he was asked to give a talk to the AFC Wimbledon football team and provides insight on his highly successful South London-based hurdles group led by coach Marina Armstrong.

"We are a close bunch, especially as a lot of us weren't necessarily that good before we joined Marina's training group," he admits. "We have grown through the sport together. Some of the ones who have been there a while, they are some of my best friends."

England Athletics CEO Chris Jones also comes on to thank everyone in the sport for this year's efforts and to tell us what we have to look forward to in a bumper 2024, headlined by the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"Thank you to everyone who has played their important part in delivering everything athletics and running across England during 2023. We've had an action-packed, enjoyable season on and off the track. Without the work of volunteers, that would not be possible," Jones says.

Looking ahead to next year, he also talks about some of the key focuses within England Athletics:

"Track and field participation, retention and growth in the teenage years, transitioning more juniors into senior-level competition is a priority for us," he explains. "We're trying to socialise the issues and the challenges that are faced by teenagers, particularly post-pandemic."

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