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UK Challenge 2007

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Prizes for performances will include a new car supplied by Alfa Romeo, now the official car supplier to UK Athletics, in this summer’s UK Challenge, the flagship series devised by UK Athletics to improve performances by senior athletes in every track and field event in every region on the way to London 2012.

Details have now been finalised of which 51 meetings will be included in the 2007 UK Challenge, how competitors can enter and what they will win.


UK Athletics’ Head of Competition Cherry Alexander said: “We are unashamedly putting the emphasis on performance. The more seniors we can encourage over the Power of 10 national standards, the better.


"And if the influence of the Challenge helps to raise standards in the established competitions that have been enlightened enough to join us, all the better! It will mean that the Challenge is helping athletes rise to the challenge and raise the standards, from grassroots towards international standard.”


Participation levels have been encouraging: 1,500 athletes scored points for their performances in the 2005 Challenge; 3,500 figured in the 2006 Challenge; and the UKA Events Manager Paul Aldridge believes the total could top 4,000 this summer.


He explained: “We are confident that the event specific meetings, the JumpsFest and ThrowsFest, were so popular last year that they will attract more competitors this time. And we have also been able to add quality competitions such as the Loughborough International and the English and Scottish Under 23 Championships, which should encourage more people to strive to reach the Challenge final by competing at other meetings.


“We were very encouraged by the quality in last year’s Challenge series, too. We had 41 Power of 10 standards at the Final, 31 at the ThrowsFest, 13 at the JumpsFest, 36 in the UK Women’s League, 27 in the British League and 25 at the BMC Nike Grands Prix / UKA Endurance Initiative meetings. It would be great if the athletes can improve on that over the next four months.


“Oh, and watch out for another announcement next week about how we’re improving athletes’ chances of earning even more Challenge rewards this summer!”

How to enter…

To earn an invitation to the UK Challenge Final, athletes will have to finish among the leading eight points scorers in their event, counting their best four performances – ‘the Fantastic Four’ as Aldridge has nicknamed them – in Challenge meetings. These are the five simple steps for athletes to follow:


1 - Check which qualifying events you will be competing in. You can contest as many as you wish.

 

2 - After each performance, check the UK Challenge website and see where your points total has taken you. If you have signed-up, then wait to receive your UK Challenge update email.

 

3 - Ensure you register your ‘Fantastic Four’ performances during the course of the UK Challenge.

 

4 - Check to see where your final points score places you in the rankings and how this places you in all of the various prize categories.

 

5 - Wait to see if you will be invited to the Final after the last qualifying event.

 

The prize list…

UK £5K Golden Challenge: Athletes who achieve the highest points or equal highest at one of the 50 Challenge qualifying events, top of their Individual event rankings after all 50 qualifying events and become UK Challenge Champion in their relevant event at the Final will either win outright or take a share of £5000.


Challenge Car: The athlete with the most UK Challenge points from their ‘Fantastic Four’ performances, including any bonus points, plus their overall points score at the UK Challenge Final will win the right to drive an Alfa Romeo Sports Car for 1 year.


UK Challenge records will be rewarded with a bottle of Heidsieck & Co Monopole Champagne.


£100 will go to the highest points scorers in each of the 50 Challenge qualifying meets. If two or more tie, the money will be divided equally. Athletes can only win this prize once during the series.

Winners will also receive a bottle of Heidsieck & Co Monopole Champagne. These prizes are in addition to Athlete of the Match awards made by the British League at their matches.


UK Challenge Athlete of the Month in May, June, July and August will be awarded an adidas kit package. It will go to the athlete gathering most points during that month. They will also win a bottle of Heidsieck & Co Monopole Champagne.


Athletes of the Series, male and female, will earn a warm weather training package for themselves plus coach, fellow athlete or partner provided by WGT Sport Ltd. The awards will be made to the athletes who out-perform all others during the course of the Challenge and will be presented at the UK Challenge Final.


Most-improved athletes will win a pair of adidas trainers. These will go to the 25 athletes whose ‘Fantastic Four’ totals have increased most, year on year.

Final prize money in each event will be £300 for first, £150 for second, £100 for third, £50 for fourth and £25 for fifth.


In addition an athlete achieving a Power of 10 National mark in the Final will win £s equalling the number of points they totalled in their `Fantastic Four` UK Challenge events. For example, if this bonus had been available last year, 100m champion Leon Baptiste would have pocketed £654.