1st July 2022


 Amongst the newly crowned UK champions this weekend were five athletes currently on the British Athletics Futures Programme and one from the 2021 cohort. There were also a host of top performances at the Müller UK Athletics Championships in Manchester from Futures athletes past and present.

The men’s 800m champion and current world-lead, Max Burgin (coach: Ian Burgin, club: Halifax Harriers and AC), who is in his fourth year on the British Athletics Futures Programme, won the stacked final to book his place in the British team for this summer’s World Athletics Championships in Oregon.

2021 Futures graduate, Jeremiah Azu (Helen James, Cardiff) took the gold in the highly competitive 100m on Saturday and has been selected for the relay squad for Oregon. Last year, in his final year of the programme, he became European U23 champion in Tallinn and is now at Confirmation level on the World Class Programme (WCP) which supports and funds Olympic medal contenders to train and compete at the highest level in sport.

Dan Wagner, Performance Pathway Manager, Olympic, said, “The championships provide a great opportunity for the Futures Programme athletes to gain valuable experience and assess progress alongside the best in the country.

“It’s great to see the transition of so many in a competitive senior environment over the three days of competition in Manchester. To come away with five champions on the programme and so many great performances and areas of development is wonderful for the athletes, coaches and support teams, a real reflection of the hard work they are clearly putting in.”

The British Athletics Futures Programme supports athletes as they work towards the WCP. The programme, supported by Nike, is focused on supporting both athletes and coaches with an Individual Athlete Plan (IAP) and through a series of camps and experiences, provides the opportunities to develop the skills and abilities required for senior international success. Medical, physiotherapy, strength and conditioning, nutrition and physiology support is also provided to the athletes throughout the programme.

Guernsey’s Alistair Chalmers (Matt Elias, Bath University) is another current Futures athlete who sealed his World Championship place with a brilliant victory in the 400m hurdles, his third successive UK Championships success. Chalmers is also looking forward to representing Guernsey at the Commonwealth Games this summer in Birmingham.

In the hammer throw, Charlotte Payne (Paul Dickenson, Reading AC), in just her second year on the programme, threw a lifetime best and Stadium Record, 70.59m to take the title.

First and second in the men’s 110m hurdles are also Futures stars.  Tade Ojora (Caryl Smith-Gilbert, Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow) retained his British title to seal a good week after he secured his Commonwealth Games place with England. Silver medallist, and securing a World Championship place having previously ran the qualifying time, was Josh Zeller (Adrian Brown, Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow). The NCAA student is also in England’s Commonwealth Games team.

At just 20, Jeriel Quainoo (Ryan Freckleton, Blackheath and Bromley Harriers) took the bronze medal in the 200m on Sunday sealing a World U20 Championships qualifying standard with a personal best, in 20.40 (2.0).

There were also a number of other significant performances during the weekend from Futures athletes including Jodie Smith (Laura Turner-Alleyne, Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow) who took the heptathlon crown with a personal best points tally of 5929.

Issy Boffey (Luke Gunn, Enfield & Haringey), now in the transition phase of the Futures programme, was third in the women’s 800m while Ben Pattison (Dave Ragan, Basingstoke & Mid Hants) was fourth in the men’s two-lap equivalent.

In the field, Anna Purchase (Mohamad Saatara, Notts), who was also selected by Team England for the Commonwealth Games, took fifth in the hammer throw. Jona Efoloko (Clarence Callender, Sale Harriers Manchester) is another graduate of the Futures Programme moving on to the WCP this year and, after his 100m fourth place in Manchester, is rewarded with a relay place in the Oregon team.

The programme runs from the 1 December to 30 November and has been redeveloped from previous years, with the focus on supporting aspects of the athletes/coaches Individual Athlete Plan (IAP) and through a series of camps and experiences, provide athletes with the opportunities to develop the skills and abilities required for senior international success.