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Olympics, what would you do?

  • 14-08-2021 10:12pm
    Registered Users Posts: 2,554 ✭✭✭

    Now that Tokyo Olympics are only a memory, no doubt AI will embark on the usual post Olympics review. The usual "we should review and implement a strategic plan to get a better return for the next Olympics"

    Now I'm long enough around to have heard all this before, and tbh I haven't seen much change over the year's.

    Athletes get rewarded for performances, with only token monies to athletes who don't reach top 8 euros or top 16 worlds., and imo very little support outside of this.

    So my question to the good people here is?

    What would you do if you were tasked to come up with a strategy for the next 2 Olympic cycles?


  • Registered Users Posts: 601 ✭✭✭Slow_Runner

    First thing we have to do is target the youth development at grass roots level. Athletics has to compete with a lot of other sports to keep the best and the brightest. You can see the drop off in participation in under age level with boys trailing off from U12 and girls from U14/16. Not sure how you could go about this successfully but looking at the current setup:

    Need to increase participation levels, make Athletics more fun and younger age group. The more kids get involved in the sport the better chance we have of identifying the next Sonia/Derval/Eammon.

    County/Provisional track championships at underage level are painful for all involved! Everyone has to arrive at 9am and sit around until late afternoon to compete in 1 or 2 races with the kids having to amuse themselves in between. Not blaming the volunteers on this btw, day is even longer for them and they do their best. Surely the programs could be reviewed to make things more appealing/fun on race day.

    Need to focus on some of the niche events, most clubs focus on sprinting/md/xc and that's it. If we invested time and money into coaches for hurdles/steeple chase on the track and any of the field events there is surely some untapped talent out there, just need to get more clubs to invest themselves in these events.

    High performance youth development system? I know Leinster Athletics holds workshops but is there scope to expand this, look at rugby academies for inspiration.

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,093 Mod ✭✭✭✭robinph

    Best way to make an impact on track events is to have a huge population like the USA and get lucky at finding the special talent before they give up sport, or be Jamaica for sprints or Kenya for distance.

    Otherwise if spending money on targeting specific events your best spending on skill based ones, or ones where there is some technical skills you can use to your advantage. So for althetics would be field events, and women's triple jump and pole vault are probably the best to aim for at the moment as they are relatively young events.

    You can't make as much difference to someone's speed through training unless they have the genetic ability already, but you could perfect their technique in throwing or jumping further, or hurdling better, such that it offsets any genetic factors and gives you a better chance of medals.