ATHLETICS participants across Scotland have called for a national schools athletics programme in a new survey conducted by the governing body.
‘Increasing awareness and promoting the health and wellbeing benefits of participation in athletics’, and ‘increasing the number of recreational runners and joggers’ were also key targets requested by members in the scottishathletics membership survey, conducted recently, at the mid-point of their current eight-year strategy termed ‘Building a Culture of Success’. It received 958 responses from athletes, coaches, officials and clubs across Scotland with the questionnaires split into the five pillars of the governing body’s strategy – clubs and pathways, competition, performance environments, partnerships and commercial, and community impact and health.
Scottishathletics CEO Colin Hutchison welcomed the response as “representative, worthwhile and highly useful in helping the sport’s staff and board shape further progress that maintains and building the current momentum of our sport”.
He continued: “I want to thank all members who completed the full survey and delivered their responses to us. It was quite a lengthy questionnaire as we sought to cover a number of areas – via the five pillars within our Strategy – so we appreciate people taking the time to answer.
“I would also like to thank our consultants Integratis for helping draw together analysis of all the responses across a range of subjects and categories. We now have very clear guidelines on what members are thinking and see as priorities as we look ahead. In almost every single case of the top three of those (in each pillar from the Strategy), we are seeing priorities we know, recognise as important and are already working towards. So in that regard is has been good for us to get confirmation that we’re headed in the right direction.
“It is an exciting time in the sport at the moment and our clear goal is always to try and deliver for our members.”
The three most significant priorities in each of scottishathletics’ strategic pillars were identified as follows:
Clubs and Pathways
- Providing support to member clubs
- Supporting clubs with the development of their coaching structures
- Work with partners to develop a national schools athletics programme
- Providing appropriate competition throughout the pathway to facilitate the development of athletes and coaches
- Providing innovative competition formats to meet the requirements of the sport; e.g. Grand Prix or Event Specific Series
- Supporting and influencing competition across all disciplines
- Provide an appropriate competition pathway
- Provide international opportunities across all disciplines
- Support the preparation of athletes and coaches to deliver on the global stage
Partnerships and Commercial
- Attracting investment into the sport through commercial partners
- Working with Scottish Government, sportscotland and other stakeholders to secure increased investment in athletics in Scotland
- Support Athletics Trust Scotland to deliver against its objectives and increase investment into our sport via new sources
Community Impact and Health
- Increasing awareness and promoting the health and wellbeing benefits of participation in athletics and running
- Increase the number of recreational runners participating in structured running groups
- Supporting and growing the jogscotland programme