JULY 20 - SEBASTIAN COE, the chairman of London 2012, today helped David Moorcroft, the chief executive of UK Athletics, launch a new plan designed to help raise standards in the sport.
The "Power of 10" has been conceived in association with Vero Communications, the company set up earlier this year by London's former spin doctor Mike Lee.
The objective of the scheme is to have at least 10 athletes in every event, in every region and every age group achieving times, distances or heights better than predefined annual targets. The scheme underpins the organisation’s aim of having athletes in 50 per cent of the finals at the 2012 Games.
As well as delivering enhanced performance at the London 2012 Games, the programme aims to boost the number of young athletes making the transition to senior competition.
“The Power of 10 is not just another initiative, or a list of athletics rankings," said Moorcroft. "It is 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.powerof10.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.”
Coe, the 1980 and 1984 Olympic 1,500 metres champion, has been increasingly critical of the state of his old sport but welcomed this new initiative.
“Winning medals is partly about setting yourself targets and exceeding them and the Power of 10 reinforces the importance of this," he said. "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 environment that is so crucial in creating champions.”
The Power of 10 forms part of Athletics’ wider strategy – which brings together all Home Country governing bodies. Legacy funds promised to athletics will help underpin the goals outlined in The Power of 10.
"Access to these rankings will be open to all," said Moorcroft. "This means a 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."
A short film of the press conference can be viewed at http://www.bsn.org.uk/view_all.php?id=11925