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Power of 10 Launch

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An inspirational new scheme was launched today aimed at raising athletics standards in the UK all the way from clubs to Olympic Games.

 

It is a statistical step-ladder devised to inspire athletes – Seniors, Under 20s, Under 17s and Under 15s – to move through club, regional and national levels to international standards.

 

In the months since it was conceived, the concept of Power of 10 has been embraced by the by the vast majority of the organisations tasked with improving the standards of athletics in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. And David Moorcroft, the Chief Executive of UK Athletics, was joined at the official launch in London this afternoon by Sebastian Coe, the Chairman of the London 2012 Organising Committee.

 

Power of 10 is based on standards considered attainable this season by the 10th-best athlete in the UK in every Olympic track and field event in all four age groups.

 

There are UK-wide targets that have been identified by an in-depth examination of the 10th-best performances nationally in each event over each of the last five years, with reference to trends of 10 years ago. And, for developing athletes, there are different targets for all of the 12 English regions and Celtic nations, again taking realistic account of historical trends.

 

The purpose is to start from a realistic base and drive up performance levels in every event, every region and every age group. Which is why, in each year leading up to the 2012 Olympic Games Power of 10 will set ever-increasing targets.

The intention is to have at least 10 athletes achieving those predefined annual targets, thus strengthening the breadth and depth of UK athletics talent and reducing the reliance on a handful of brilliant individuals. It will be a transparent process: if the targets are not met, the sport will know there is more work to do.

 

The value of the system as an indicator of strength in depth was illustrated at the Norwich Union European Trials, incorporating the UK Championships and AAA of England Championships, in Manchester last weekend: there were, on average, 3.5 ‘top 10’ performances in each of the Men’s finals and 4.2 ‘top 10’ performances in each of the Women’s finals. The omens are not all that bad, though: in the Junior age groups, 10 athletes or more have already met the targets in 18 events.

Moorcroft and his colleagues are well aware that setting the targets – during months of consultation with coaches, athletes, administrators and statisticians – has been the easy part. To reach them will take talent, dedication and support – qualities that can only come from within the athletes themselves.

 

Power of 10 sets out to instil athletes, coaches and clubs with a real sense of purpose and value … with the ultimate prize being a part in a successful Team GB at major championships such as London 2012.

 

Moorcroft said: “The Power of 10 is not just another initiative, or a list of athletics rankings.  It’s a year-on-year drive for greater strength in depth across all events and regions. After careful analysis of world, UK and regional standards and trends, we’ve built up a clear picture of the progress we will need to make in order to produce more world-class athletes.

 

“We can use the data to challenge ourselves. We can see where trends are developing; what’s working and what isn’t and transfer lessons from successful regions.  The rankings will be published on a new interactive website www.thepowerof10.info and will be updated on a regular basis which means instant recognition for good performances and a platform for season-long competition across regions.”

 

Sebastian Coe added: “Winning medals is partly about setting yourself targets and exceeding them and the Power of 10 reinforces the importance of this.  It is about creating an aspirational environment where mediocrity is unacceptable.  This combined with the right structure, support, funding and most importantly coaches will enable British athletes to stand up and be counted on the international stage.  The Power of 10 is an excellent vehicle to help create the highly competitive and aspirational environment that is so crucial in creating champions.”

 

Added Moorcroft: “Access to these rankings will be open to all.  This means a degree of transparency and clarity of purpose we’ve never seen before in athletics.  If we aren’t seeing consistent, season on season improvement, we’ll have achieved nothing.  We have our goals, now we need to go out there and work together to achieve them.”

Endorsements for The Power of 10
 
Winning the right to stage the London 21012 Olympic & Paralympic Games brings with it a whole host of opportunities and challenges.  In developing the Power of 10, UK Athletics has created the opportunity for a large number of athletes to check their performances against others and their potential to contest for medals in the future.  I am impressed by the transparency of the programme and really hope this will inspire future generations of athletes to achieve.


Sue Campbell Chair UK Sport

 

Olympic medals aren't won easily. As an athlete I had to push myself to the absolute limits to hit targets I had set myself; when I got there it wasn't enough to rest on my laurels, I set new targets and so the story goes. The Power of 10 has the ability to drive performances up and will hopefully, as part of a much wider programme, deliver more medals.


Steve Cram Chair English Institute of Sport

 

With the Beijing and London Olympics so close, this is exactly the time to drive up performance standards. I, therefore, absolutely endorse this timely and exciting initiative from UK Athletics and am sure that it will lead directly to more athletes on the podium.


Hugh Robertson MP Shadow Sports Minister
 
Power of 10 is a very positive development in helping to raise standards across athletics and I fully support its aspirations and will be following its roll-out closely.


Don Foster MP Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

 

Power of 10 is certainly not just another ranking scheme; it’s based on statistical research from over 30 years of performance and can act as a predictor as well as motivator for 2012.  Power of 10 will also prove an excellent measure of our success - athletes, coaches and all involved in the sport.  It will also help achieve the key objective for England Athletics, to increase the capacity of the sport and to improve performance in every event at every age group in every region.


Dr Alan Harrison, Chief Executive of England Athletics

 

Northern Ireland is very pleased to be taking part Power of 10.   We believe it will be of enormous help in our drive towards significantly raising standards especially in the run up to the London Olympic Games, and it will be a major tool in enabling us to measure and compare progress across the full range of athletic events

John Allen, Honorary Secretary, Northern Ireland Athletic Federation
 
The next six years are critical for all of us at every level of athletics.  We have got to make sure we use the Power of 10 to tap into the great potential of our sport.  Within Scotland we will ensure we use Power of 10 to help raise our standards and will also reward those who do.

Geoff Wightman Chief Executive Scottish Athletics

 

The Power of 10 offers athletes the opportunity to register performances and compare rankings at ALL levels across ALL disciplines of Track & Field athletics. This system can be used to gauge performances against a progressive continuum and in effect act as a benchmarking tool for aspirational athletes and coaches looking to continually improve performances leading up to 2012. At a lower level the Power of 10 will create a focus for ambitious athletes, and in years to come, they will be able to measure their ability and compare performances. As we embark along the road to London for 2012 we envisage the Power of 10 will provide a major boost to athletics and stimulate improvement of standards.


Steve Brace, Director of Athletics, Welsh Athletics

 

For further details about the Power of 10, please visit the Power of 10 website at: www.powerof10.info