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60,000 members... but for what??

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  • 27-05-2018 8:13pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 1,414 ✭✭✭


    The week that was

    Dublin 10,000m Championships (one of only 2 open 10,000m in the country every year) - 10 runners

    AAI Games - Men and Women's distance program scrapped due to lack of entries along with a number of other events

    Leinster u23 Championships - All events bar 100m scrapped due to lack of entries

    While some may argue that the presence of the IMC/BMC and a handful of athletes in Belgium this weekend mitigate these figures fact is that ironically it's the distance events that are struggling despite the upsurge in road running members in this country.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,704 ✭✭✭✭RayCun


    A week after Highgate as well. How many Irish distance runners were there?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,414 ✭✭✭Testosterscone


    RayCun wrote: »
    A week after Highgate as well. How many Irish distance runners were there?

    12 Men by my reckoning not even a full Irish field between them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 260 ✭✭Ultraman100


    What was the medals and goodie bag like...


  • Registered Users Posts: 933 ✭✭✭jamule


    What was the medals and goodie bag like...

    Was there a t shirt?


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,574 ✭✭✭✭28064212


    There's an obvious lack of even basic information being broadcast. Look at the program for the graded meets published by Dublin Athletics - doesn't even mention that the 10,000m on Wednesday was the Championship. What even are the AAI games? Is it a case of if you're good enough, you'll know, or is it open for non-elites? This kind of stuff doesn't even qualify as "marketing", it's just the absolute bare minimum

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,414 ✭✭✭Testosterscone


    28064212 wrote: »
    There's an obvious lack of even basic information being broadcast. Look at the program for the graded meets published by Dublin Athletics - doesn't even mention that the 10,000m on Wednesday was the Championship. What even are the AAI games? Is it a case of if you're good enough, you'll know, or is it open for non-elites? This kind of stuff doesn't even qualify as "marketing", it's just the absolute bare minimum

    Just spotted the omission on Dublin Graded booklet. admittedly that looks like a slip but despite this it was an advertised 10k race with dates announced back in march, Championships label usually actually discourages more than it encourages.

    In terms of AAI Games this is an open meet and has been marketed as such every year. AAI Facebook page put this up three times since start of march with the link to entry and even extended entries. Their page has 37k likes so it's not as though these weren't advertised.

    Alot more can be done no doubt but the point is that despite the membership numbers being spouted repeatedly as a good thing the truth is that at grass roots level this is having little to no impact on participation numbers in the sport in this country. The fact that the doubled membership numbers can't help support competitive athletics in this country is deeply alarming.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,900 ✭✭✭KielyUnusual


    If the AAI ran better quality events and went to the bother of doing some basic advertising beyond their mass participation events, they might get better numbers.

    I've ran the AAI games and thought it was terrible so I'd never run it again. Its the most soulless, atmosphereless event I've ever ran. Its like showing up to the track on a Monday evening for a solo training session. People are voting with their feet and rightly so.

    I've ran numerous AAI events and I've never even gotten an email informing me of any of their races. Maybe they've just had a pre-emptive fear of GDPR going years back :)

    Case and point I think is the Road Relays. Its in my opinion the best running event in Ireland for runners and spectators. The atmosphere out there is great and the racing is always incredibly exciting. I was entering our team this year and sent on a link to the race details to the team members. All the new runners had to get back to me asking the location. Beyond the location of Raheny, it's not mentioned anywhere on the site where specifically it's actually located. No course map, no structure for the relays, nothing. Times for the races and that's it.

    On the same point, at training that week, I was asked 3 or 4 times was I racing on the Sunday. So I goes 'Yea' and instantly in to a rant about how class the relays are. Dumbfounded look. 'what the he'll are the relays, I meant the night run'

    Just an isolated story but I think it sums up the focus of the AAI perfectly and what they are trying to promote.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,414 ✭✭✭Testosterscone


    I've ran numerous AAI events and I've never even gotten an email informing me of any of their races. Maybe they've just had a pre-emptive fear of GDPR going years back :)

    Haha you must be following my FB rants on their page this year as I have been making this point :p. FWIW I am not defending the AAI here. The point I was making originally is not that shame on people for not supporting (well not directly) but that anyone spouting the running boom or the 60,000 members of the AAI is in any way indicative of the health of the sport in this country is delusional.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,370 ✭✭✭pconn062


    Well run meets will get support from runners. The IMC meets are in great health, with top class competition in most events. The Dublin Graded meets suffer a little because of the fact that they are midweek and they sometimes have a tendency to be poorly organised, often running extremely late. The AAI Games are a joke of an event, I went to spectate last year and it was one of the most boring, lifeless events I've ever been too. That alone would put me off ever competing at it.

    I do agree with your general point though, but really, the only events I ever see really marketed by AI are the money spinners, Night Run etc. They really need someone with a bit of imagination to join the marketing department.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,900 ✭✭✭KielyUnusual


    Haha you must be following my FB rants on their page this year as I have been making this point :p. FWIW I am not defending the AAI here. The point I was making originally is not that shame on people for not supporting (well not directly) but that anyone spouting the running boom or the 60,000 members of the AAI is in any way indicative of the health of the sport in this country is delusional.

    Well, that's another point. Advertising on Facebook alone is not sufficient, especially given the recent issues with that particular company. I have the same issues with the IMC. Everything is sent out through Facebook and if you're not on that, then you've got to be on the ball about the race dates (or luckily have the organiser as a coach at your club).

    ....and I never had you as a closet AAI fan ;)

    I know you're just a lover of a good debate.

    I'm sure the AAI Games will be cancelled shortly enough and they'll blame lack of interest rather than having to get involved in any sort of self reflection.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,414 ✭✭✭Testosterscone


    Funny enough this topic actually came off the back of the Leinster announcement moreso than the AAI Games (an unhappy coincidence) It sent alarm bells ringing for me when we can't get enough athletes to field any event bar 100m from college athletes in this country.

    I think the sport in general probably could have benefited more from a college participation officer moreso than the two full time roles they filled for recreational participation this year.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,574 ✭✭✭✭28064212


    Just spotted the omission on Dublin Graded booklet. admittedly that looks like a slip but despite this it was an advertised 10k race with dates announced back in march, Championships label usually actually discourages more than it encourages.
    Unless you're someone who actively follows the graded meets announcements, there is zero chance of anybody finding out about it.
    In terms of AAI Games this is an open meet and has been marketed as such every year. AAI Facebook page put this up three times since start of march with the link to entry and even extended entries. Their page has 37k likes so it's not as though these weren't advertised.
    You mean these posts?
    Reminder that online entry for the Irish Life Health National Combined Events & AAI Games (Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th in Morton Stadium, Santry) closes Friday 18th May @ midnight!
    I saw some of those at the time. Went looking for any kind of further information beyond just the list of events that were happening. Nothing, anywhere. And I only found out it existed because I follow AAI on Facebook. Nobody in the club had a clue it was on. It simply doesn't appear on the radar
    Alot more can be done no doubt but the point is that despite the membership numbers being spouted repeatedly as a good thing the truth is that at grass roots level this is having little to no impact on participation numbers in the sport in this country. The fact that the doubled membership numbers can't help support competitive athletics in this country is deeply alarming.
    Agreed

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 221 ✭✭Safiri


    On a slightly different note but why in the name of god does everything have to be on in Dublin? If anyone wants to compete regularly in championship races from the south or west, it's basically a 5 hour round trip 10+ times a year. I think we're at a point now where some other counties have both the facilities and numbers to hold some of these events rather than everything being held in Dublin. The likes of Cork which already have some very successful track meets of their own in place with the likes the Leevale open T+F event etc. Having pretty much every meet and event of significance in Dublin doesn't exactly do much to advertise the sport to the rest of the Country. Dublin has 10% of the total athletics membership but holds 90% of the championships. Cork has very close to the same membership numbers but holds 0% of the championships. Everything is in Dublin or close to it which is a bit of a joke to be honest and doesn't do anything to advertise the competitive aspect of the sport to those outside of it. There's 31 other counties out there and maybe that should be reflected by AI at both Juvenile and senior level.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,900 ✭✭✭KielyUnusual


    Safiri wrote: »
    On a slightly different note but why in the name of god does everything have to be on in Dublin? If anyone wants to compete regularly in championship races from the south or west, it's basically a 5 hour round trip 10+ times a year. I think we're at a point now where some other counties have both the facilities and numbers to hold some of these events rather than everything being held in Dublin. The likes of Cork which already have some very successful track meets of their own in place with the likes the Leevale open T+F event etc. Having pretty much every meet and event of significance in Dublin doesn't exactly do much to advertise the sport to the rest of the Country. Dublin has 10% of the total athletics membership but holds 90% of the championships. Cork has very close to the same membership numbers but holds 0% of the championships. Everything is in Dublin or close to it which is a bit of a joke to be honest and doesn't do anything to advertise the competitive aspect of the sport to those outside of it. There's 31 other counties out there and maybe that should be reflected by AI at both Juvenile and senior level.

    Basically the National Championships and the AAI games are run in the National Stadium, which is in the capital city, Dublin.

    The Dublin Gradeds are naturally held in Dublin

    National League, IMC Meets are held in venues around the country

    Cork Gradeds held in Cork

    These are the main ones I can think off, from the top of my head.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,448 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D


    Well, in terms of road races, the national marathon, half marathon, 10k are all held in Dublin, and it looks like the proposed national 10m and 5m (or is it 5k ?) might well also be in the capital. There was talk of the Road Relays moving to Sligo but that didn't go anywhere.

    There is the argument that Dublin is easier to get to than anywhere else in the country, but let's face it, we are not talking about huge numbers here - why not hold the national marathon in conjunction with Cork marathon, for instance? There's plenty of capacity in Cork, and Dublin will still sell out. Or somewhere else (if the June timing doesn't suit). Some of these races could rotate around the provinces, surely, and generate a bit of buzz in the 'regions'.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,704 ✭✭✭✭RayCun


    Leinster u23 Championships - All events bar 100m scrapped due to lack of entries

    I had a look back at the 2009 and 2014 results.

    Not enough sprinters to fill the lanes in the 100m and 200m, and they were the popular events. 8 women competing in 2009 (plus guests), across all events. 19 competing in all events in 2014. I'm not surprised athletes don't show up if there's no competition, and I'm not surprised the organisers decide there's no point in having a competition when you could just give the gold medal to the only person on the line.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,704 ✭✭✭✭RayCun


    If you want to judge the current state of track and field, if you're going to pick one meet it should be the national championships. How many people are competing there, year on year? (And what is their age profile - is it filling up with masters athletes?)

    Or don't pick one meet. Go through the events and ask, how many hammer throwers competed in Ireland in 1997, 2007, 2017? How many new throwers are coming through, and how many are just holding on for longer? How many vaulters? How many hurdlers? Are the demographics in these events changing, for better or worse?

    Where there is a shortage of athletes - u23 women's steeplechase is never going to have a lot of entrants - they should be combining competitions where possible. u23/junior/u18 in the same race, or jumping at the same time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭Sacksian


    I had been hoping to wait until I had a reason to post in the middle-distance thread before I posted here again!

    But just to point out that the IMC would suggest that middle-distance is in ridiculous health, particularly at a juvenile and junior level, and those runners are AAI members.

    They had to limit entries for Greystones 15s for guys on the bubble of sub 4 because there were too many at that standard! They generally have 4 or 5 800s and all but one of them will be for sub 2 runners, with a good possibility of sub 1:50 in the 'A'. There is depth. Belfast looked fantastic too.

    Communication is awful, but that is true of all levels - and that's on the clubs as well as the AAI. If you're keeping an eye on the club calendar and club competition, you won't miss a thing. I'm not on facebook but I know in March to start looking at IMC, AAI and Dublin athletics sites!

    I don't think the AAI should be competing with IMC and I don't think they can. In fact, they should be supporting it. AAI and Dublin board should be club- and competition-focused.

    After that, club officials, club coaches and captains should be responsible for keeping people aware and getting people out to club competitions, not the AAI. I know I could do more when it comes to xc season to keep people's minds on upcoming competitions.

    The standard in the Graded has dropped in recent years but, more encouragingly, there are greater numbers and I certainly see more willingness to run on the track amongst non-track athletes at the Graded.

    My main worry is that athletes are getting more professional (in approach) and that clubs are not, particularly in terms of communication. That's where I think the problem lies. Clubs provide the environment and structures to keep athletes involved in the sport, not AAI (although obviously AAI can help with the competition calendar but, again, that's probably on the clubs).

    And, by clubs, I also mean members - apologies for the rambling, I've delayed my run to get this off my chest!


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,695 ✭✭✭Chivito550


    The AAI Games is one of the most depressing meets I have ever raced in. I did it twice, in 2014 and again in 2015. Come 2016, I booked a trip to Roland Garros for the tennis that weekend, and haven't raced it since.

    They'd be better off just scraping it, and having a third round of league. Better still, turn it into an annual giant graded meet like they have in Oordegem, or Highgate 10000m, have BBQ, beer, pumping music, maybe some kids stuff like facepainting. Change the name of it to something else, and start from scratch. Put it on a different weekend as it clashes with IFAM in Belgium. Why does that matter? Well AAI actually send out developing athletes to Oordegem, so why they have one of their major meets clashing with this I'll never know.

    And why do IMC and AAI set their own schedules in isolation? It is unforgivable that Belfast IMC and AAI Games are the same weekend. In Melbourne, The Vic Milers Club are only a semi independant body of Athletics Victoria, so all fixtures are co-ordinated. You NEVER get clashes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,394 ✭✭✭✭Timmaay


    Chivito550 wrote: »
    And why do IMC and AAI set their own schedules in isolation? It is unforgivable that Belfast IMC and AAI Games are the same weekend. In Melbourne, The Vic Milers Club are only a semi independant body of Athletics Victoria, so all fixtures are co-ordinated. You NEVER get clashes.

    Egos, simple answer. And on both sides.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 15,704 ✭✭✭✭RayCun


    RayCun wrote: »
    If you want to judge the current state of track and field, if you're going to pick one meet it should be the national championships. How many people are competing there, year on year? (And what is their age profile - is it filling up with masters athletes?)

    had a quick look

    ................................2017...............2012 ...........2007
    Hammer m/w............. 8/13............... 5/9..............9/4
    Triple Jump m/w..........6/7..................6/4..............7/5
    Steeplechase m/w........6/5..................7/4..............7/1
    1500 m/w..................30/17..............29/11.......... 45/11

    didn't check ages

    Men's 1500 participants dropped a lot from 2007 to 2012, stayed the same since then
    Men's field events basically static
    Increased numbers of women in all events


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭Sacksian


    Sacksian wrote: »
    I don't think the AAI should be competing with IMC and I don't think they can. In fact, they should be supporting it.

    Well, that escalated quickly!

    http://www.athleticsireland.ie/news/robinson-announced-as-irish-team-captain-for-le-cheile-international


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,141 ✭✭✭rom


    The was the AAI dealt with GDPR speaks volumes on how the whole organisation is run. Let it up to each individual club.

    The simple case would be they could have taken all this data and created a centralised secure system.
    It was a perfect time to introduce a system that stored everyones details that is accessible to the right people in each club. Implementing it correctly with 2fa. The system could be used for sms, email comms etc be it club/county/Provence/all-ireland comms. Data could be stored in a secure way and the correct controls could be in place rather than every club running a wordpress site. Big opportunity lost.


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