scottishathletics have started work on a new strategy for the years ahead – and the core pillars of our sport will remain at the heart of that.
Chief executive Mark Munro reveals in the new edition of PB magazine there is already a willingness to be bold and brave when laying down the vision for the sport and the governing body in Scotland.
Those pillars will certainly include clubs, athletes, coaches, Officials and competition as essential for continued growth and sustained development.
Gold Coast 2018 is fast-approaching but drawing up a new strategy demands thinking about the way ahead towards the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022 and even beyond.
Mark’s column sets the tone for a special 44-page edition of PB which is being issued to members by post and digitally (for those aged U21) and includes a dedicated 16-page preview on Gold Coast 2018.
There are exclusive interviews with Melbourne 2006 medallists, Lee McConnell and Chris Baillie, as well as a Q and A with Combined Events ‘double-act’ Holly McArthur and her coach, Iain McEwan.
We cover an action packed series of events including the Lindsays National XC, the FPSG Seniors and the World Indoors, while our Grassroots Athletics section looks at Bellahouston Harriers, West Dunbartonshire AC, Deveron Harriers and how Kilmarnock Harriers organise events.
‘Looking forwards, we are coming towards the end of our latest strategy timeframe and the sport has developed significantly since ‘Perform When It Counts’ was drafted in 2014,’ said Mark.
‘We have seen major growth within clubs, and amongst those competing within the sport, and some fantastic progress around club modernisation work – an area where the clubs deserve immense credit.
‘We are starting to see a number of paid coaching models appearing across our clubs, with requests for a ‘professional coaching award’ to set an industry standard for best practice.
‘Recently we launched the inaugural event specific series doubling as a ‘club league’ for small medium and large clubs and it will be interesting to see how that project evolves within the wider competition framework.
There is a desperate need to return to an event group coach development structure within the organisation which focuses back on how we support coaches and athletes and includes elements such as the re-introduction of national training days with coaches, athletes and parents included; technical workshops as well as the continuation of physical preparation and resource developments for coaches.
‘The Board has already initiated the work around the new strategy which will provide an opportunity for the sport to have their views considered over the coming months.
‘Undoubtedly, the new strategy will be bold and brave but will ensure the core pillars of the sport remain at the heart of our operations.
‘Whatever timeframe is set for the new strategy, it will be reviewed every two years with an opportunity to tweak and adjust.
‘So, in reality, it becomes an effective, updated, evolving strategy delivering against the needs of the sport – not a strategy that is out of date within 18 months of its launch and forgotten about until it is reviewed again at the end of its term.
‘Thank you once again to everyone involved in supporting and delivering this wonderful sport and let’s hope for Gold in the Gold Coast in April. Good luck, Team Scotland!’
Below: the full colour front cover of the new edition of PB and (from inside) the cover page of our 16-page Gold Coast preview section