Ian Beattie believes athletics in Scotland won’t lack the resolve required to recover from Covid-19.
It remains a very difficult time for so many within the sport with group activity at clubs not yet restored and many facilities closed.
Save a few Elite athlete exemptions, which have helped generate some very fine performances by top Scots, getting back to full training and mass competition are clear goals for later in 2021.
We spoke to Ian on a number of issues prior to him taking ill last week. We send our best wishes to Ian and Sandra.
Renewing membership is one way to help our sport with numbers having dropped significantly in recent weeks,.
‘I would start with a big thank you to all the clubs and jogscotland groups for all the support we’ve had as the governing body,’ said Ian in our video interview.
‘There’s been a lot of positive feedback on the way people are trying to keep things going.
I’ve great sympathy for athletes, coaches and club volunteers at the moment. It has been such a difficult time; groups unable to meet to train together, mass events not taking place for quite some time, no access to strength and conditioning facilities for so many athletes.
‘Well done to all those who are managing to keep things happening.’
Great to meet with Minister for Sport @MairiGougeon, @sportscotland & @Active_Scotland today. Crucial that the sector collaborates well to support the safe return of sport & to continue evidencing the impact of sport & physical activity @scotathletics @ianbeattie1 #PowerofSport https://t.co/bEC1lOQgUp
— SALChiefExec (@SALChiefExec) March 2, 2021
‘I look at some of our elite performances and marvel at the way these top athletes have competed.
‘For many of them it has been tough with no normal training routines and yet we’ve seen Scots post some great performances and it is much more than a one-off.
‘We’ve kept the virtual events going and I know that has meant a lot to a number of clubs and athletes. We’ve had online education and some folk have found that, during lockdown, they’ve had more time to upgrade their qualifications.
‘I’d urge people to renew their membership if they can (although we know in some cases people’s finances have changed). Renewing your membership allows scottishathletics as the governing body to keep the sport going.
‘I always think of scottishathletics as all of us. It is all the members, the jogscotland groups, the Officials, the hill and ultra runners and everyone across all areas of the sport.’
Before Covid-19 . . . the hugely popular National Road Relays at Livingston (photo by Bobby Gavin)
‘I think we had a really good model before Covid-19 arrived. Membership was increasing and our clubs and groups were doing well.
‘So hopefully we can get back to that. We can only do that if we have the support of all the membership.
‘We have a new chief executive in Colin Hutchison and, during a robust and lengthy recruitment process, Colin presented a very clear vision for the sport for the next five years or so.
‘I think we were agreed that athletics in Scotland does not need dramatic change – there is a lot of terrific work going on – but we just need to ensure that continues and the progress is maintained.
‘We spoke when we introduced our last Strategy as ‘Building a Culture of Success’ about a wider approach.
‘So, when you come to staff changes, I tend to think it should not be dependent on one or two individuals – it should be about an overall culture and mindset and I think we have that in athletics in Scotland at the moment. It is the collective effort which counts.’
Ian wears the red Harmeny AC vest at the Lindsays National XC (photo by Bobby Gavin)