id342-Another Whats About Christmas Interview Scoop 2005

Written by Anon   


The Whats About Christmas Review. Part 2.

With: Key Personnel from UK Athletics Ltd.,Adam Walker (Deputy Chief Executive) and David Collins (Performance Director).

WA: My first question is for the DCE. As a founding Director of UKA in 1997 what were your thoughts and aspirations as you approached the task of reforming athletics in the UK?

DCE: I suppose apprehension sums it up. After all I had turned another sport (Lawn Tennis Association – Ed) into the dynamic force it is today. I knew that that would be a hard act to follow.

WA: So after 8 years in post what would you say has been your most positive achievement?

DCE: That?s difficult. There have been so many. But if pressed I would say ?ring fencing sponsorship monies?. You know its so easy for poorly drafted plans to absorb funds without much to show for it. I think I can take credit for offering our sponsors well laid out proposals to which they can commit with confidence.

WA: Like the SHINE Awards which I believe lost ?700,000.

DCE: I prefer to think of the monies being re-distributed for the good of the sport. After all the scheme provided employment for many of UKA?s key staff at a time when other initiatives were a bit thin on the ground.

WA: But weren?t the sponsors miffed?

DCE: Not at all. They got lots of positive publicity. Glossy literature, photo shoots with some of our elite athletes and lots of happy smiling children in sponsors? T shirts.

WA: So this is the way ahead.

DCE: Absolutely. When Legacy funding dries up we will need new sponsors to carry the sport forward to even greater achievements.

WA: And how will this happen?

DCE: With the appropriate focus of resources on wealth generation. It is not widely known that as part of the Sports England backed Modernisation plans I have submitted proposals for a 32 person strong Department to take this work forward. To infinity and beyond!

WA: So the proposed income from a membership scheme and unattached levies will not be needed?

DCE: I didn?t say that. You will need to talk to the CEO and Jack Buckner on that one. (Next time-Ed).

WA: Turning now to the Director of Coaching. You are the new boy here. There were very few tipping you for the appointment. The bookies were looking for someone to fill the four key credentials ; toughness, psychological astuteness, knowledge of athletics and coaching. Were you surprised to get the job?

DC: Frankly yes. Two out of four didn?t give me a strong hand. I think it was the military background that swung it.

WA: And has that and your ability to play mind games helped?

DC: Well I?ve put the frighteners on a few athletes and left several coaches in no doubt as to what I think of their attitudes and abilities.

WA: You have made it clear that your key mission is to get a number of elite athletes to Olympic finals in 2008 and 2012. And yet you claim you are not responsible for success. Can you explain please?

DC: Quite right too. That is the responsibility of Zara (Hyde Peters – Ed) who has been responsible for performance for the last four years. I expect her to continue the great work she has done – particularly with the distance running squads.

WA: And has she any new ideas?

DC: I?m not breaking any confidences here. We are working on some revolutionary ideas which if successful could lead to a number of sponsorship initiatives.

WA: Sounds exciting. Please carry on.

DC: Well it wont have escaped your notice that in each of the ?Strictly Come Dancing? TV series Olympic medal winning athletes have turned out to be natural performers. Who can forget the exploits of Denise Lewis, Roger Black and more recently Colin Jackson? And here is the creative bit. If athletes can become dancers why shouldn?t dancers become athletes?

WA: Is this going where I think its going?

DC: Yep. We?re planning to introduce ballroom into the coaching curriculum. Waltz and foxtrot into level 3 and tango and salsa into level 4. In one fell swoop we will introduce excitement, increased stamina, flexibility and motivation. And there will be other benefits.

DCE: Already I am working on a new breed of sponsor. Of course we will still need the traditional ones but we are negotiating with some exciting new prospects.

WA: Can you give details yet?

DCE: If my plans work out kit sponsorship will be shared with Moss Bros. And the world?s largest supplier of sequins is making interesting sounds.

WA: I think the next trials should be fascinating. The athletes won?t feel the same. Anything else?

DCE: One word. Red Bull. Or is that two?

WA: Thank you Gentlemen. Our sport is safe in your hands.

Copyright: WA and ABAC


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