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Local and National Provision - athletics in Northern Ireland

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Introduction

Local and National Provision As part of my As level coursework I have to look at a chosen sport and find out about the development of it from grass roots to elite level. My chosen sport is athletics in Northern Ireland. Flowchart showing the pathway from grass roots to elite: Grass roots Schools Clubs Schools Club Competitions Competitions Ulster School's Northern Ireland/ Selection Ulster Selection Ireland/Great Britain Selection Grass root levels in athletics starts at Primary schools. Northern Ireland Athletics Federation (NIAF) has a number of programmes to introduce athletics to children of this age. An example is the 30,40,50 club where children are encourage to walk, jog or run 1 mile no more than twice a week. When a child has completed 30,40 or 50 miles they will receive a certificate. Not only is this scheme designed to introduce athletics to children but it also improves their health and fitness. There are a number of other schemes including sports hall athletics. These events take place across the UK and include team relays and field events which are designed to make athletics fun. ...read more.

Middle

The top performers in athletics in Northern Ireland are selected to be part of SINI (Sports Institute Northern Ireland.) As members they will be given advise on diet, training and they will receive physiotherapy. They will also be monitored for strengths an weaknesses using specialized equipment. David Reid is the NIAF high performance manager where he works with elite athletes insuring they continue competing at a high level. There are also five other people working under him. Other schemes designed for elite performers include the Rover Combined event. This is designed to maintain and improve multi eventers throughout the UK. Throughout the year there are many event specific coaching coaches such as throws and sprint courses. Courses for coaches are held throughout the year in Northern Ireland up to level 3. These courses are designed to educate the coach on issues such as technique, development and methods of training. IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) Athletics Ireland UK Athletics NIAF (Northern Ireland Athletics Federation) The NIAF is funded by UK athletics, from the National lottery. They also have a number of sponsors such as Reebok, Norwich Union and the BBC. ...read more.

Conclusion

"This would be the first step in developing a continuous pathway to promote the progression of talented females from grass roots towards high performance level." Athletics is one of, if not the biggest sport for disabled people at international level. Events such as the special Olymics, Paralymics and Commonwealth games attract not only a lot of competitors but also spectators. In the UK there are also a number of events such as British blind sports indoor and outdoor athletics, London Wheelchair marathon and the National Junior championships. Local provision is similar to able-bodied athletics but because Northern Ireland is small there is not that many competitors. Often a disabled athlete competes in local competitions for able-bodied athletes. At school age there is a disabled Irish schools competition running alongside the able-bodied competition. Overall althletics in Northern Ireland is open to everybody regardless of age, sex or religion. The NIAF try to introduce athletics at an early age so that everyone has experienced it and then some will continue it on to higher levels. Over the last few years there has been a lot more money put into athletics in order to produce medal winners due to better facilities and coaching. athletics are still volunatary. ...read more.

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