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UK Athletics

Road Running Leadership Group to be formed

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UK Athletics is requesting applications from individuals interested in sitting on the working group of the newly formed Road Running Leadership Group.

The Group, which will begin work in January, will comprise of six individuals, three members from existing road race organisers/strong road running backgrounds, two to be nominated by the Home Countries, and one nominated from UK Athletics.

Applications are being sought from individuals who have the following skills:

  • High-level knowledge and interest in road running.
  • Outstanding race organising or event management experience.
  • An understanding of runners and running motivation from participation through to the elite.
  • An ability to think strategically and creatively in the widest interests of the sport.
  • High-level skills in at least one of the following areas – finance, marketing, business, customer recruitment, performance development.
  • Supports collective responsibility in the decision-making process.

Applicants will need to offer a good mix of these skills to be considered.

Applications for these roles should be sent with a covering letter and CV to:  Appointments Panel, Road Running Leadership Group, c/o Jo Wassall, UK Athletics, Athletics House, Central Boulevard, Blythe Valley Park, Solihull, West Midlands, B90 8LA.  Alternatively applications can be emailed to: roadrunning@ukathletics.org.uk.

The closing date for applications is Monday December 11.

An Appointments Panel will consider applications and an announcement will be made before the New Year.  The period of appointment will be for an initial 18 months, commencing January 2007 and will require a commitment of between 8 – 10 meetings and possibly some additional sub-group work.


Background to the group

These are boom times for road running in the UK. Participant and race numbers are at record levels and many big events sell out in days. This unprecedented level of success has increased the sport’s profile but has also put pressure on race organisers to delivery a safe and consistently high quality event experience. Within this environment there have been concerns over event consistency and the administration of road running.  Furthermore whilst participation has increased, standards at the elite end of the sport have stagnated and declined.

Throughout this year a Road Running Working Group comprising the stakeholders within the sport has been meeting.  The group has now concluded its work with the following recommendations:

From January a formal Road Running organisation, provisionally named the Road Running Leadership Group, will be formed.  It will be accountable to the UKA Members Council and will receive delegated authority to investigate all areas of road running.

The Road Running Leadership Group will develop its own terms of reference and these will include:

Administration: setting the standards of delivery for road running, how the sport is organized and quality control.

Finance: evaluating the funding of the sport and developing a financial plan for its long-term health and future.

Participation: ensuring the sport remains attractive to existing runners, draws in new runners and that they all enjoy a consistently high standard of experience.

Elite: developing strategies alongside UKA to improve elite standards within the sport.

One of the first tasks for the Road Running Leadership Group will be to review the existing financing of the sport and consider alternatives to the current levy and permitting system.  The Working Group established a principle that all such funds generated by road running, will be used to for the development of road and endurance running.

After 18 months the Road Running Leadership Group will be replaced by a permanent organisation with a system of governance that ensures an appropriate mix of skills and accountability.  This will include an election process for the interim nominated positions that are not connected to governing bodies.  However, the Road Running Leadership Group will report back to the sport via public forums during its operation.

Two project managers will assist the Road Running Leadership Group.  These are Jack Buckner, former European 5000m champion and Project Director of the Foster Report and Pete Hier, race director of the Windsor Half-Marathon and event director of the 2001 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Bristol. Jack will work on the new management systems whilst Peter will work directly with race organisers and permit secretaries.

In parallel with the development of the Road Running Leadership Group existing arrangements within road running will continue.  The process of transferring permits to Athletics Services is scheduled for April 1, 2007.  This process is already underway.  There will be no change in the allocation of funds to counties whilst the Road Running Leadership Group considers the wider development of the sport.

Whilst it develops its work, BARR (British Association of Road Races) will remain as an independent organisation maintaining standards and contributing to the development of road races.