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London Chair Blog 24th April 2012.
The past couple of weeks have been busy. Myself and the London Deputy Chair Peter Crawshaw reviewed the year 3 funding proposals of four of the seven London Networks on 18th April. The general impression on these is that the clubs are now taking a more involved approach and the activity levels achieved and planned have increased. Networks all have slightly different approaches and some are achieving some big things in specialist areas – eg Lea Valley in Disability and Youth Volunteering, Kent (London) in Academies. It remains the case, however, that the Networks would benefit more if all of the clubs in them contributed.
Peter attended the National Council (the Chairs of the nine England regions) last week. The main area covered was the 2013-17 funding proposal to Sport England. This is still being finalised by the Board of Directors of England Athletics so I cannot reveal the detail. But London is well placed to show that we are making a big effort to drive up wider participation rates with our Run! programme where numbers of participants have now increased beyond 30,000 since the programme started (seriously) around mid 2011. This has been a fantastic effort by the Activator team led by Rhian Horlock.
Run England, which aims to set up running groups under trained leaders is also a success in London led by Nathalie Kavanagh-Clarke.
On the 2013-17 plans I think most Networks understand that they have been funded for three years. What happens after that is still subject to the success of the Sport England discussions and how England decides to allocate the funding received. As a general point however we are trying to identify the strengths of the London Networks so that we can concentrate resource in various areas on the Networks that are best at delivering that area.
The London Council meets this Wednesday 25th April. Unfortunately three of the Councillors are outside the country currently but we will have a full agenda. One area where we would like input from the London clubs is Schools. Our club consultations before Christmas identified this as the main area of concern in the sport in London – the weakening of the existing schools structures and the lack of progress in establishing links with the clubs. As always we know that the Council does not have enough expertise here – so we would greatly appreciate help in setting up a Group to consider this area.
The Council will also be meeting the recently appointed Acting CEO of England, Chris Jones, in a few weeks time to discuss London’s likely role in the next four year funding phase.
I am currently trying to get some base level Assistant Coach and Leaders in Running Fitness courses scheduled for before the start of the Olympics. Watch the website.
Lastly as the outdoor track season sets off in this momentous year - good luck to all of London’s great athletes, clubs and supporters. You will never have a better chance to show the world what you can do.
Tony Shiret Chair, London AthleticsFollow @londonathletics