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McCain UK Challenge Launched

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McCain UK Challenge


14 May 2009

A prize fund of around £40k will be up for grabs when the McCain UK Challenge series gets underway at the McCain Loughborough International this weekend. There will also be a possibility of one athlete scooping a £5000 bonus prize pot in the series which takes in 46 competitions this summer.

The annual series - which was launched as a pilot in 2004 - has come to form the backbone of the domestic outdoor season, tying in existing meetings with additional fixtures to identify quality competitions for athletes from all disciplines to target as they seek to qualify for the prestigious McCain UK Challenge Final, which will be staged at Cardiff on 15th August.

Athletes will compete across the UK for 13 weeks and 46 qualifying events to register their 4 best performances. These are converted into points and the Top 8 in the McCain UK Challenge Rankings will then be invited to compete for their share of £30,000 prize pot at the Final and the title of McCain UK Challenge Champion.

In additionany athlete who achieves the highest “performance points” total at one of the 46 qualifying events, tops their individual event ranking from their best four performances and wins their individual event at the McCain UK Challenge Final will be eligible for the £5000 McCain Golden Challenge prize.

Other prizes available in the series include £250 for the athletes heading the rankings in their event group, be it sprints, endurance, jumps or throws; £100 for being the highest point scorers in their individual event, a bottle of Heidseick & co Monopole champagne for breaking a McCain UK Challenge record and an adidas kit package for being a McCain Athlete of the Month.

Highlights of the series include the season-launching McCain Loughborough International on 17th May, St Mary’s Classic in Twickenham on 17th June, McCain Birmingham Games on 18/19th July, McCain Jumps and Throws Fest on 25/26th July and the on-running British Athletics League and UK Women’s League which run throughout the summer.

Paul Aldridge, UKA Competitions Manager said: “The McCain UK Challenge has become a kite mark for quality track and field competitions in the UK. The series has consistently brought out the best in British athletes and that is not just idle talk, the figures back it up.

“Last year saw a staggering 536 recorded PBs and 186 performances ranked in the National Power of 10 rankings for 2008.  The prize fund is as generous as ever, but there will be an increased emphasis on performance related prizes. This is to further enhance the aim of the series to raise standards for those athletes competing at this level.

“I am looking forward to another exciting McCain UK Challenge Series, full of PBs, records and fantastic performances from athletes in all disciplines.”

Nick Vermont, Regional CEO at McCain Foods said: “As part of our £10million, five year investment in supporting UKA, our sponsorship of the UK Challenge demonstrates our commitment to our role in promoting a healthy balanced lifestyle to our consumers.  We want to ensure that consumers are leading an active life as well as enjoying good food."

Visit the UK Challenge section