This time last year we were in the midst of a major re-organisation. Many of our staff faced a significant change in their working life. In the 12 months since then, we have built a new organisation which is starting to make a real difference to Athletics in England.
We started the year by securing over £20 Million over 4 years from Sport England for investment in clubs, coaching, mass participation and national-level competition.
Our McCain Athletics Networks programme now has 55 funded and non-funded networks, covering 387 clubs and expected to rise to around 500 clubs over the next 12 months as networks expand. Nearly £2million of extra partnership funding has already been secured beyond our McCain and Sport England funding! Our November conference was attended by over 100 club representatives and created some excellent networking opportunities. Clubs are beginning to share coaching resources, team together to secure new sources of funding and share secrets of their success that were previously jealously guarded. The work of our 20 Club and Coach Support Officers (CCSOs) has been pivotal to this success.
We now have a team of 14 National Coach Mentors up and running, with nearly all events now covered and specialist roles on Physical Preparation and Youth Development. There are now over 200 coaches on our National Coach Development Programme, of whom 139 we funded to attend the International Festival of Athletics Coaching (IFAC) in Glasgow where they attended presentations by world class coaches. More than 400 coaches attended our National Coaching Conferences, and coaching Masterclasses have been attended by up to 100 coaches at a time giving more opportunities for coaches to develop their skills and share their ideas. Each of our National Coach Mentors has formed a close working partnership with their UKA National Event Coach counterparts.
At a local level we have signed up more than 300 coaches for the Local Coach Development Programme. Flying Coach visits and local workshops, masterclasses, seminars and training sessions have benefited coaches and athletes across the country. The creativity of our CCSOs in meeting local needs has shone through.
Run in England is taking off. Launched by the Secretary of State in July, we now have four Area Development Officers up and running and partnerships forming with County Sports Partnerships and local authorities the length and breadth of the country. Phase one in our quest for 50,000 new runners is the training and recruitment of leaders. A remarkable 950 potential leaders have enrolled on our new Leadership in Running Fitness course, many of whom are now finalising plans to launch their local Run in England groups to capture the "New Year's Resolution" running boom.
Meanwhile UKA has renewed its commitment to Road Running with substantially increased investment in supporting runners and road race organisers through the Run Britain project. Endurance coach development, supported through Road Running licence income, is a key focus with an additional 10 Area Coach Mentors starting to make a difference in endurance and road running clubs across the land.
Our Hall of Fame night welcomed 265 guests and celebrated the achievements of our most dedicated volunteers and some of all time greats. Setting the Pace has become a must-read for everyone in club and coach development, and our bi-weekly eBulletin now goes out to over 80,000 affiliated members. Communication is a huge priority.
We have created the England National Officials Forum, and we are polishing off the first edition of the Officials journal "For the Record". In schools, we've had government endorsement of a nationwide schools competition framework, partnered with ESAA on the English Schools Champs and through Quadkids and Sportshall have engaged 50,000 new young people in competition. We have supported Northern Athletics, MCAA and SEAA in delivering their championships. We put many hours of hard work into the UK School Games. Our own England Champs in 2009 were highly acclaimed, with more athletes, excellent coverage in athletics media and a number of championship-best performances.
Coach education is undergoing radical change. England Athletics has had a major role in re-designing the programme, to make coach education more accessible, more specific to different types of coaches, and with greater focus on technical details of "what" to coach. The new curriculum goes live in the spring, whilst the UKACoach website is already up and running, with our Coach Mentoring team featuring strongly in many of the excellent video presentations. Our Athletics 365 programme launches in 2010 and will provide a blueprint for clubs in welcoming more young people and giving them an excellent first experience of our sport.
We all recognise a gender imbalance in the coaching world, and a gap in understanding of development issues in female athletes. We've taken the first steps in addressing this through cost-hosting a Female Triad Conference with Dame Kelly Holmes and the Women in Coaching Conference at Crystal Palace attended by over 160 female coaches. Much more to come on this front in 2010.
In London we have a rather important event coming up in around 950 days time! We are the fortunate few to be empowered with the responsibility to ensure that London Olympics leaves a lasting legacy across the whole of England. In London itself we have the opportunity to secure extra legacy funding to drive grass roots participation, and a wide-scale consultation programme led the London Regional Council has recommended the appointment of additional "London accelerator" posts alongside our London Development Manager and the London CCSOs to ensure we reap the rewards.
None of this success would be possible without the work of the "back office". We've centralised our customer services team and rolled out a brand new accounting system, both with the aim of making our organisation more efficient and providing a better service for the people we support. In early 2010 we will introduce a new coach and officials database and online booking system, which should improve the coach and officials course booking process. Finance, customer services and HR are all essential to the smooth running of our organisation, and everyone has pulled together to make things work through a year where so much has changed.
Our focus for 2010 will be CONSOLIDATION and COMMUNICATION. We initiated a lot of new things in 2009, and we now need to take stock and ensure that the programmes drive real results. We need to make sure that all of our athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers are kept up to speed with all that's going on, and that we keep listening and responding to their needs. We are a volunteer-led sport, and our volunteers must continue to be at the front and centre of everything we do.
To support this, we will embark on a major consultation programme in 2010. This will include an online survey targeting all members of the sport in January, and consultation roadshows in each of our Athletics Networks in the spring. Just to reassure you, we will be consulting on existing England Athletics delivery strategy to help refine and improve delivery – not to change direction! We'll look into the future, and to post 2013 – what should our priorities be? What should we focus on delivering? How should affiliation look? An opportunity not just for EA, but also for clubs and Athletics Networks to shape their own future.
Finally, 2010 is Commonwealth Games year. We are sure the whole country will be celebrating when they see our England athletes on the podiums in Delhi. We can take additional pride in being involved in that success. As we look around our clubs we can start to consider who will be the next athletes to come through to be our champions in the future. That then encourages each of us as to the importance of the role we each play in our sport. And it reminds us of the importance of working together to create a sport where all our athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers receive all the encouragement and support they need. Our semi-finalists in Delhi could become our finalists in London 2012, and our finalists could be our Olympic medalists!