17th December 2021


As previously communicated, the UKA Development Team will look to provide regular updates the wider athletics community to offer an increase level of transparency in relation to the progress relating to key areas of work.

This update is related to the work across the Development Team and, as key projects move forward, we will be able to provide more detailed and specific updates across key areas within the Development directorate including; Coaching Development, Officials Development, Clean Athletics, Facilities and Rules.

As we approach the end of 2021, we can reflect on yet another challenging year due to COVID. It has however been fantastic to experience a much wider return of the sport across the UK and at all levels of delivery. The easing of restrictions and much wider return of; club and group activity, training, coaching, volunteering, competitions and officiating (across all disciplines) and facility use, especially over the last few months has been a huge boost for the sport.

Since the last update there has been a number of key developments and activities that have taken place. These are outlined in more detail below;

Coaching Development

The UK wide Coaching Strategy was launched on 27th October with a series of 4 ‘open’ virtual roadshows delivered to not only to provide a greater level of detail but also to add more context around key content contained within the strategy. It was reiterated during these engagement sessions that this is very much a strategy for the sport, a UK wide coaching strategy not a UK Athletics strategy. There are, and will be, multiple stakeholders involved in the delivery of many of the key objectives and we all have a role to play in its implementation and roll out. Something that we must continue is the communication and engagement with the coaching community at all levels of the pathway.

One of the key objectives contained within the strategy is the establishment of a number of expert coaching advisory panels. The application window for these panels closed on 19th November with a strong level of interest across the seven areas of specialism (Speed, Endurance, Jumps, Throws, Combined Events, Para and Youth/Children). The process related to the formation of these panels will continue over the coming weeks and it is anticipated that we will confirm the composition of the advisory panels and that they will meet for the first time in the early part of 2022. It is however only right that we thank all those that have shown an interest for their ongoing support.

Work has already started on the new learning and development framework and one of the initial tasks of the advisory groups is to use the expert knowledge and experience of the group to help inform, shape and support with that process. The other area of focus will be to establish ‘communities of practice’ within each specialist area.

As many people will have seen over recent weeks, we have continued with the coach profiling activity across the UKA website and socials and the feedback and responses has been excellent. The latest profile featured Leon Baptiste Previous profiles include; Trevor Painter, Janice Hendrie and Andy Young and Karen Buck.

Finally, Scott Simpson (UKA Senior Coach – Pole Vault) presented at the 9th European Pole Vault and High Jump Conference which took place between 12-14th November in Cologne. An excellent opportunity to showcase the excellent work taking place here in the UK across this event group, videos and footage from the event can be found here.

Officials Development

The UKA Officials Conference held (virtually) on Sunday 31st October was a huge success with over 200 attendees benefiting from a range of speakers sharing their journeys, knowledge and experiences in the sport. It has been a fragmented, but very busy, year of competition across the UK and we must take this opportunity to thank the thousands of officials that have played such a crucial role in supporting this return.

On Saturday 13th November saw the delivery of the Level 4 Track and Field courses with 19 attendees across the disciplines. The courses, in virtual format, allowed participants to engage and interact with other like-minded officials throughout the day.

The UK wide Officials Strategy was launched on Wednesday 17th November with this launch also being followed by a series of open roadshow events held online. As with the coaching strategy, we must ensure that we maintain high levels of engagement and continue the dialogue with the officials’ community and a series of home country specific engagement sessions are planned for the first part of 2022.

In an attempt to raise the profile of officiating, we have started to profile officials across our digital platforms, this will continue throughout 2022 and showcase officials across the UK, operating at all levels of the pathway. The first of the ‘Meet the Officials’ series featuring Wendy Davies (Lagan Valley AC, Northern Ireland) went live earlier this week.

Clean Athletics

Work in this area has progressed significantly with two key pieces of work. This has seen us, as a sport, complete and submit our annual report to the World Athletics Integrity Unit as well as continue developing the submission report in relation to the UKAD Assurance Framework.

Clean Athletics Manager David Walsh has added a new staff member to support the programme and we would like to welcome Amy Ashford to the Clean Athletics Team. Amy joined on Monday 6th December in the role of Clean Athletics Support & Education Officer, providing additional help and resource to the team. Steve Perks (Chair, Welsh Athletics and UKA Board Member) has recently been identified as the Clean Athletics UKA Board Champion. In fulfilling this role, Steve will bring his extensive background and knowledge of the sport.

As many of you will have seen in the important update issued by the sport the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) recently released the 2022 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods, which are banned from use within sport. More detail and further information can be found here.

Once more it has been yet another busy year of education and testing across the sport. Throughout 2021 there have been 1045 education interactions comprising of; Major Games sessions (Tokyo), Funded Athlete sessions, Representative Team education activities and I Run Clean education sessions. Testing wise (1st Oct 2020 – 31st September 2021) there have been 586 tests; 112 (in competition tests) and 474 (out of competition and training squad tests)’

More information and further detail can be found on the Clean Athletics section of the site.


Throughout the last half of 2021, facilities across the UK have enjoyed a wider return to use under far less stringent restrictions which has been a benefit to all clubs, athletes, users as well as providers and operators alike.

Facilities across the UK have continued to work towards TrackMark accreditation. The focus of the team has naturally been to focus on supporting key competition venues with TrackMark compliance being a requirement for competition venues from 31st March 2023. We are now nearing 50 accredited venues with the vast majority of facilities across the UK ‘working towards’ accreditation which is extremely positive.

The ongoing work on the TrackMark Directory has significantly progressed with this to go live early in 2022 which will be a big boost to the sport as well as the clubs and facility operators. Over recent weeks and months you will have seen the facility workshop series that has been delivered with the support of England Athletics which have been very well received.

Further work continues on the establishment and development of a UKA Facilities Strategy that focusses on national and international level training and competition facilities whilst looking to align seamlessly with the home country facility plans to deliver a degree of consistency and continuity in facility provision across the UK where appropriate. More information and all supporting documentation relating to facilities can be found on the UKA facilities page.


The UKA Rules Group have been busy in recent months working on the proposed rule changes submitted as part of the two-year invitation to the sport relating to the UKA Rules for Competition.
As part of the process this group has consulted with and worked alongside a number of bodies including; the four homes countries, the UKA Technical Advisory Group, The UK Competition Working Group and the UKA Eligibility Group as well as extending the wider consultation to the sport via the UKA website.

The final rule change proposals were presented to and agreed as part of the UKA Board Meeting on 8th December with publication scheduled for February 2022. A huge thank you must go to the Rules Group (Tim Soutar, Chris Cohen, Peter Crawshaw, Moira Gallagher, Malcolm Rogers, Arwel Williams and John Temperton) for their guidance and expertise in this piece of work as well as all those that were part of the process. As this has now been approved, the Rules Group will now prepare the 2022-2024 UKA Rule Book for publication.