The members of UK Athletics at this week’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) made a number of important steps as part of the organisation’s ongoing transformation.
The AGM comprises the members of UK Athletics, drawn from the four Home Country Athletics Federations, the chair of the Athletes’ Commission, and individuals elected from clubs, elite level coaches and technical officials. The meeting was chaired by the President of UK Athletics, Jason Gardener MBE, and attended by Vice-President Stef Reid MBE, as well as UK Athletics Chair Nic Coward and CEO Joanna Coates.
The AGM comes at the end of a year of significant change within UK Athletics, with the recent adoption of a new sport wide strategy in collaboration with the Home Country Athletics Federations through to 2032, and the appointment of a new Chair, Chief Executive, and management team.
During 2020, UK Athletics and the four Home Country Athletics Federations have established a new governance and engagement framework, through a formal “Framework Agreement”, which is focused on delivering the sport wide strategy. This includes new approaches to working across the organisations on issues in the sport, at all levels, and across the whole of the UK, and communication and consultation to listen to the wider sport. Each of the five organisations will set their plans and programmes to meet the sport wide plan and be accountable to each other and the sport as a whole, through shared key performance indicators and a new dashboard. The lead forums for wide engagement, consultation and debate on issues, and collaborative working on potential solutions, will now be done through cross-sport Working Groups. The whole sport will also come together on an annual basis to hear progress and express views.
Against this background of considerable change, the UK Members Council has today decided:
To make changes to the UK Athletics constitution, to enable each Home Country Athletics Federation to nominate a director to the UK Athletics board, on the basis that each director owes his or her duties to UK Athletics when on UK Athletics business.
That following extensive consideration in the past months of the future formal membership of the Company, detailed proposals will be worked up, including wide consultation throughout the sport, so that proposals can be considered formally by the UKA Members at a meeting in the first half of 2021.
Following the Articles changes, UK Athletics can confirm the four new members of the board, which significantly enhances the breadth of experience in different aspects of the sport, as well as from the new directors’ lives away from the sport.
David Abrahams: Athletics Northern Ireland’s nominee David is a former International high jumper and current Glens Runners member. Recently appointed chair of Athletics Northern Ireland, David brings a wealth of governance and business experience to the post. He has served on a number of arts boards, is Chairman of Belfast Exposed and a Vice President with Marsh Insurance.
Ian Beattie: Scottish Athletics’ nominee Ian is a Chartered Accountant and Chief Operating Officer of Lindsays Solicitors. A prolific club member, he is Race Director of the West Highland Way Race, having completed the event eight times, and has completed more than 100 marathons and 100 half marathons, with PBs of 2.56 and 1.17 respectively. He is chair of Scottish Athletics, and a qualified Coach in Running Fitness, and coaches a group of endurance athletes. In 2020 Ian was awarded the MBE for services to athletics.
Peter Crawshaw: England Athletics’ nominee Peter has been closely involved in athletics for over 30 years as a competitor, parent, club administrator, highly qualified field official, and facility assessor. Since taking early retirement he has increased his voluntary involvement in the sport serving as a former Chair of the EA London Regional Council and Officials Secretary for Surrey AA. An England Athletics director, Peter is currently Chair of the EA Audit and Assurance Committee.
Stephen Perks: Welsh Athletics’ nominee is their current chair. Steve is a former Welsh International sprinter and has impressive coaching credentials as the relay coach who oversaw the Men’s GB gold at the 2004 Olympic Games. A highly regarded former Headteacher, he was also head coach at the Victoria Commonwealth Games in 1994, the GB relay coach at Sydney in 2000 and was inducted into the Coaching Hall of Fame by the Princess Royal at the 2004 Coaching Awards in London.