altOCTOBER 21 - ENGLAND ATHLETICS are to make between 15 to 20 staff redundant in a restructuring of their nine semi-autonomous regional business units into a single national team designed to boost the sport in the build-up to London 2012, they announced today.


The decision, which comes after intensive consultation across the sport in the past 12 months, will allow approximately £500,000 to be made available to clubs and includes a new coaching initiative.


Three main future objectives after reorganisation are aimed at attracting more participation across a wider cross-section of the community, improving the quality of experience of every participant and supporting the development of the next generation of champions.


A statement from England Athletics said: "We believe that the future of the sport lies in the hands of volunteers and this restructure will enable us to support them with a more consistent, higher level of service.


"Our responsibility is to support and empower clubs, coaches and competition providers to raise their standards and embrace a wider audience.


"Our challenge is to lay the foundations for future success on the world stage by helping our clubs and coaches find talented athletes and guide them to the level of the UK Athletics world-class performance programme.


"In the run-up to London 2012, the sport of athletics has an opportunity to capture the public's attention like never before, and it is our responsibility to ensure a sustainable legacy in clubs, schools, coaching and competition that leaves athletics in a strong shape for years to come."


Over the next few weeks, England Athletics will reveal new plans to invest money in athletics in schools, clubs and coach development programmes.


A key proposal is the development of athletics networks, clusters of clubs working together with schools, universities and colleges to raise standards in their designated areas.


The existing 10 regional manager posts and the 28 regional development posts will become redundant.


The 15 regional and head office administration posts will be replaced by six central posts under the direction of a new education and athletics services manager.