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UK Athletics

Power of 10 earns National Union of Track Statisticians approval

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http://www.powerof10.infoPower of 10

The National Union of Track Statisticians (NUTS) have agreed to recognise Power of 10 as the national rankings for the sport.


This massive vote of confidence comes less than four months after the Power of 10 website was launched by UK Athletics (UKA), England Athletics, Northern Ireland Athletics Federation, Scottish Athletics and the AA of Wales to provide statistical stepping-stones for seniors, under 20s, under 17s and under 15s to raise standards in every Olympic event on the way to London 2012 and beyond.


Peter Matthews, NUTS Chairman, said: “A motion, proposed at the end of much discussion, was agreed at our Committee Meeting on 6 October that the NUTS should support the Power of Ten initiative. We were also happy that individuals could help athleticsdata.com as they wished, although we felt that there were probably problems of sustainability for two websites with such similar contents in the long term.


“We are all strong supporters of Athletics Weekly (AW) as the essential 'trade paper' of the sport, so were keen that our support for the Power of Ten should not be seen as being against AW, given their rival website, so we coupled that motion with our expression of support for AW.


“Since its formation in 1958 the NUTS (National Union of Track Statisticians) have been disappointed at the lack of interest in statistics by successive governing bodies for the sport, who have, of course, had to rely on us for much detailed information. So we are delighted at this new-found interest from UKA with the Power of Ten initiative. We trust that the statistics thus available will be a most useful tool for monitoring initiatives in the sport, that athletes will benefit from the availability of such detailed information on the internet and that the targets from the Power of Ten will provide stimulus for athletes of all ages and disciplines.


“We are also most concerned that our British Athletics Annual should continue in its current form as the definitive compendium of the season's activity, and are delighted that Umbra Athletics will again publish British Athletics 2007 (having earlier indicated that this might not be possible) for the NUTS.”


The head of Umbra, Rob Whittingham, is the statistician behind the rapidly growing mountain of statistics in the Power of 10 Rankings and Targets section, which is becoming the hub of ambition within athletics throughout the UK.


Andy Paul, UKA Head of Athletics Development, described the NUTS announcement as “great news”. He added: “This is a fantastic endorsement from a world respected organisation and we hope to build on the trust shown by them, as the Power of 10 builds to be an invaluable addition to the planning and evaluation required by any athlete or any coach aiming to raise their standards in every event, across all age groups, in every region of the UK."


Dr Alan Harrison, Chief Executive of England Athletics, said: "In England Athletics, we have two key aims – increasing capacity in the sport and improving performance in every event, at every age group and in every region. Power of 10 is our measure of performance. We use Power of 10 stats in every region to identify our event weaknesses and then put into place action plans to create improvement."


Geoff Wightman, Chief Executive of Scottish Athletics, said: “There is still a little way to go before Power of 10 can be used on its own as a measurement in Scotland but in the past month Rob has had some refinements made that enable Scots who run for English clubs to be included in the Scottish portion of the rankings.


“Next month, at our Dinner which Michael Johnson [the world record holder and current BBC commentator] will attend, we are presenting a set of awards from a Modernisation-funded reward package of up to £5,000 for those Scottish athletes, coaches and clubs who have made the biggest impact on the end of summer Power of 10 rankings. We are also selecting our Bank of Scotland squads next month with reference to Power of 10 standings.”


The recent refinements to which Wightman refers have led to the details of more than 3,200 athletes in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales now being available in the Power of 10 Rankings and Targets. This is as a result of unprecedented cooperation between Whittingham and national statisticians John Glover in Northern Ireland, Arnold Black in Scotland and Marian Williams in Wales.