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Local and National

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Introduction

Local and National Coursework Athletics As athletics is an internationally based sport it has an international governing body- the International Association Athletics Federation, more commonly known as the IAAF. However UK Athletics (the UK's national athletics governing body) has a larger influence on athletics in our country. Launched fairly recently in 1999, It has had major success in its schemes to attract the younger generation into athletics. UK athletics promotes athletes, draws up rules and heavy anti-doping programmes, works with not only the IAAF but local initiatives too and organises all major national athletics events. However it could be argued that one of its main aims is to attract as many youngsters into the sport as possible. This they achieve through their many initiatives and schemes. StarTrack, possibly the most successful of UK Athletics' schemes runs throughout the country during the summer holidays. It gives youngsters, aged 8-15, the opportunity to be introduced to athletics in a friendly relaxed environment. Running over 5 days they get an opportunity to try out all disciplines of athletics with many getting scouted for the local clubs at the same time. This is has been incredibly successful nationally with around 9000 children taking part across 80 venues around the country. A large majority of these children end up taking up athletics on a regular basis with either a local club or within their school. ...read more.

Middle

A young athlete may show promising ability at school sports days or local mini competitions and decide to join his/hers local club. Here they can get involved in Sportshall competitions and U11 mini races. If they show great ability they may get chosen for the competitive team when they reach U13 age group category. This is not based on qualifying times as different clubs have different standards so selection is merely based on the head coaches' discretion. Here they would start competing in bigger races and would compete in the annual Norfolk schools. If they come 1st or 2nd they would progress to run for Norfolk at the Anglian schools meet. If they perform well here and/or run inside the qualifying time for their age group then they will be selected for the prestigious English Schools. These qualifying times differ for each age group and gender, yet are set for the whole country (see appendix 3 (entry)). Norfolk has just been downgraded to a grade C county so can only take 30 athletes to the English schools, therefore you have to achieve the qualifying time for your event or to have shown promising talent throughout the season to be taken. If the athlete produces an exceptional performance here they will be scouted for a bigger, well known club or be offered a personal trainer. ...read more.

Conclusion

GYDAC and WVAC have had in the past two slightly disabled members yet no special provision has been undertaken to cater for them. If disabled people wish to participate in athletics locally they will be forced to travel a long way to use the appropriate facilities. Overall athletics is a well balanced sport. It is a unisex sport giving equal opportunity to male and female participants. However looking closer into the difference between locally and nationally it is not so balanced. Funding nationally is very good with major companies and associations putting lots of money into the sport. However I feel that local clubs are not getting enough funding and are being forced to rely on private efforts to keep the club going. Also I believe that although a lot of funding is being put into grass roots and development programmes nationally, locally clubs are being missed out due to their minority population. This results in not as many youngsters being attracted to the sport locally even though nationally figures are high. Locally, disabled facilities are obviously a problem as there is nowhere to participate within the county. More schemes are needed to help disabled participants into the sport, as evidently national schemes have been successful. As athletics is fairly popular within the county already I believe that the introduction of disabled facilities would be effective. Overall it seems athletics internationally and nationally is very good, yet more attention needs to be paid to local clubs and organisations. ...read more.

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