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UK Athletics

UK Athletics confirms extra funding for endurance athletes

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UK Athletics has announced extra funding to support achievement in non-lottery funded endurance competition including the World Cross Country Championships and European Cross Country Championships.


These ‘Off track’ championships have specific performance aspirations, which are additional to the World Class Performance targets set in conjunction with UK Sport, which focus on performances at Olympic and Paralympic Games.


UK Athletics recognises that endurance is a key event area both in terms of the number of athletes taking part and the high degree of global importance enjoyed by European and World cross country championships which often feature athletes already supported by the lottery funded World Class pathway and those close to the level required to be supported by the World Class programme.


Each of the non Olympic disciplines of cross country, ultra road racing, world road racing and mountain running have a programme of squad support for GB level athletes at senior and junior level funded through the endurance event management group.


In addition, an amount of £24,000 has been allocated to support and contribute to the future performance of individual UK endurance (non lottery) athletes who are capable of being medal contributors in European and World cross country championships. For 2006-7 this funding will be targeted at seven senior endurance athletes;


Liz Yelling (Bedford & County AC), Hayley Yelling (WSE&H), Kate Reed (Bristol & West AC), Natalie Harvey (South London Harriers), Dan Robinson (Stroud & District AC), Peter Riley (Trafford AC) and Chris Davies (Telford AC) will all receive a tailored support package to assist them in achieving their best for Great Britain & Northern Ireland.

(Bedford & County AC), (WSE&H), (Bristol & West AC), (South London Harriers), (Stroud & District AC), (Trafford AC) and (Telford AC) will all receive a tailored support package to assist them in achieving their best for Great Britain & Northern Ireland.


Commonwealth Games Bronze medallist Dan Robinson, as well as being selected for the European Marathon Cup in August, will target this winters European cross country championships hoping to build on his outstanding performance development on the road scene and further raise the men’s team performance. Dan said:


"The support will help me in two ways; providing the medical cover and quality medical support I need, plus funding towards the expenses of competing abroad and altitude training.


"The extra funding will make a big difference, the better the medical support system I have in place, the more likely I am to stay healthy and compete to the best of my ability. In particular, the opportunity for me to train at altitude is now a possibility, which is something I have never been able to finance before."


Senior Coordinator for Endurance (non lottery) Spencer Barden said:


" I am delighted that we are in a position to support a number of our key senior endurance athletes towards winning medals in cross country at major championships and inspire and motivate our emerging juniors".


World Class Talent athlete, Steph Twell, who recently clocked 4:12 over 1500m at the BMC Grand Prix at Solihull, to put herself into strong contention for a place in the Norwich Union Great Britain & Northern Ireland team for the World Junior Championships, has been a member of the GB junior cross country squad for the last 18 months. She reflected on the impact some of our senior cross country performers have had on her development:


"Cross country has been the heart of my athletics, during the last two years it has given me the opportunity to represent my country at both World and European level. I have reaped the benefits from competing and being alongside our top senior athletes and it has helped me to achieve my recent track performances.


She added: "Hayley Yelling opened my eyes and provided me with inspiration, when she won the European Cross Country Championships in 2004, she showed that if you believe in something so much, you can make it happen!"


This individual support is additional to the event group pathway funding channelled through Event Management Groups across all five major discipline areas: Throws, Jumps, Speed, Combined Events and Endurance which is primarily focussed at raising standards within every event area in every age group across the UK.