Welcome to the website of ABAC – The Association of GB Athletic Clubs.

An organisation formed to represent the interests of member clubs in a rapidly changing world of sport.


As Niels de Vos completes 10 years  as UKA CEO we evaluate his contribution and look at his plusses and minuses. Read


The Association of Running Clubs(ARC)  celebrates its 10th successful year of operation. Read for more info..


Where does the EA Affiliation fee of £14 per registered athlete go? Well NoEAAA say they only get back 89p per athlete. Read what they say.


With the GB team swelling to record numbers for the London World Championships Fact File 62 looks at the GB medal chances. Read FF62.


ABAC has finally obtained England Athletics 2013-2017 funding application to Sport England. It is not an easy read totalling 682 pages including appendices.

Read Comments are invited.


The 2017 British Athletics Year book will be out shortly. ABAC has received copy of an article from it which is on drop out rates. Read Fact File 61.


England Athletics aim to raise performance targets by 1% per annum from 2017. Here is what they have done over the last 2 years. Read FF60.


England Athletics has produced a 44 page document outlining plans for 2017 and beyond. There are some dodgy facts in it. ABAC will highlight these in the next series of Fact Files. Read the medal count misrepresentations.


Men’s long distance track numbers reached a nadir around 2009. Since then there have been improvements. But in 2016 we have nowhere near the depth in quality numbers of 30 years ago. Read Fact File 58.


If you were worried at the decline in the numbers of senior throwers this analysis of how the younger age group throwers are doing will add to your concern, Read FF57


Senior performances are falling in County track and field Championships to the point where many are facing wipeout. Read what is happening in Fact File 56.


Fact File 55 records the change in participation from 2009 to 2016 for men and women track and field totalling 37 events. Read to read what ABAC is doing.


An end of season analysis has shown that more young athletes competed in the SAL than the Southern YDL during 2016. Read Fact File 54 Read.


7 Counties no longer hold  U19 Schools track and field Championships. Read and see the numbers for all counties


England Athletics have informed ABAC of an easing of Athletics’ Club Coach qualification rules. Read the full story


The number of senior athletes competing in County Championships has declined by 20% over the last 5 years. Read Fact File 52 and get the full story.


The expanding Southern League mainly provides competition for U.20 and veteran athletes. Where are the seniors? Read FF 51.


In Fact File 50 we update FF1 which appeared 5 years ago. Read the enormous increase in athletics Governance costs over the last 15 years.


In Fact File 49 we carry out the most in-depth study on male track and field veteran athletes so far undertaken.Read


With UKA planning to enforce athlete registration from April 2016 we look at the possible implications for individuals and clubs. Read


As a follow up to FF46 we now look at the numbers of U20 women achieving top 100 targets in technical events, ReadFact File 47 which compares 2015 numbers with those of 2010.


UKA and P10 hide athlete numbers as they downgrade  Top 100 targets. Read the full facts in FF46


There has been a dramatic fall in male technical event athletes over the last 5 years. Is a  lack of technical coaches to blame? Read to read the details in Fact File 45.


ABAC has analysed the problems surrounding the delivery of next years !AAF and IPC World Championships.Difficulties with the UKA led organising Companies are identified . Breaking news is that major changes have been introduced with just 18 months to go to the big events. Read ABAC’s analysis.


Track and field news. We have determined the drop out rates for English women in the 20 to 29 age group. Read Fact File 44.


We continue our analysis of track and field dropout rates.  Read Fact File 43 which deals with 30 to 34 year old women.


Preliminary information for 2015 has shown that a third of veteran men who competed in track and field in 2014 have failed to surface this year.
Is there a serious problem? Read


Following today’s Autumn Statement many Government Departments will be sighing with relief. But a review of sports’ planning and organisation has been promised by The Sports Minister, Tracey Crouch. Here are the main responses from ABAC proposing robust changes. Click here to read our commentsThe new plans should be out before the end of the year. Read


When UKA decided to award the 2016 Indoor Grand Prix to Glasgow they never anticipated that the track at the National Indoor Arena would not therefore be constructed this winter. The loss of the Grand Prix has meant that the leaseholders of the Birmingham Arena cannot afford to re-establish the track which is constructed and demounted every year. The MCAA are not amused. Read


With decreasing numbers of senior athletes ABAC predicts that Leagues will contract. The facts relating to track usage over the last 2 years are detailed in Fact File 41. Read


Having identified the number of over 20 senior women track and field athletes in Fact File 40 we now look at how often they competed in 2014 and the standard of low end performancesRead


In Fact File 39 we count every senior women track and field athlete in every club in England and compare the numbers with Sport England claimsRead


ABAC has refined retention data following the tracking of individual athletes. ReadFF 38 which will be the first in a series on this subject.


Will young athletes finance clubs in the future? For Fact File 37 Read


We now look at the jumps which record another all embracing decline in numbers over the last 5 years. For Fact File 36Read


Our analysis of technical events turns to the hurdles. FF 35 records a massive decline in numbers of hurdlers since 2010. Read


Fact File 34 looks at the numbers of youth and junior throwers in 2015. The trend over the last 5 years has been used to predict numbers for 2020. You will be shocked by the results. Read


With the Beijing World Championships starting soon we reveal the dire state of British throwing. Read


At a time when clubs are protesting about the proposed expansion of  England Athletic’ Affiliation Fees, the P10 website starts to enforce UKA’s powers by refusing to publish some track and field results. It really is club bashing time. Read


At its 2015 AGM it was agreed that ABAC would offer free membership to clubs for years 2015 and 2016. Click here to register.


In FF 32 we analyse the 2015 first round match results for the upper age groups of the YDL. Sadly the decline in participation continues especially in the lower divisionsRead


Sport England’s latest Active People Survey overstates the number of track and field athletes by 500%. Fact File 31 details the most comprehensive analysis yet undertaken Read


Opposition grows to the UKA’s  latest proposals to change age group competition rules. Read


Sport England’s Active People Survey 9 is to be expanded to include a hitherto ignored sector of activity. Read


 FF30. The recent growth in numbers running the English National CCC is costing clubs  moneyRead ABAC’s latest analysis.


There are many fingers in the school sport’s pie. The Youth Sports Trust remains a key player. Read


ABAC is about to publish a short series of articles and Fact Files on school sport. They will deal with the Youth Sport Trust, Schools Cup and Participation levels. Key to where we are now is the letter Michael Gove sent from the Department of Education to the YST on 20th October 2010. Read


Last weekend Steve Cram suggested GB Cross Country results should be evaluated against global performances.  To get a complete picture ABAC has asked Rob Whittingham to assess how GB Track and Field performances match up to the World’s best. Fact File 29 reports on his study. Read


England Athletics has this week informed Network Chairmen and Chairwomen that there will be no future funding. Read


In December 2014 ABAC wrote to Sport England as a follow up to its investigations into the Lottery Grant for the Nova Group of Companies. ABAC made the point that this grant would have been better spent supporting Sports Hall and Network activities. Read the ABAC letter here.


The DCMS has invited contributions to a its latest Triennial review of UK Sport and Sport England. Here is the form. If you wish to comment , hurry, as the closing date is Sunday, January 4 2015. Read


Here is the letter sent by ABAC to Sport England in response to their letter we put on this site recently at their request. We are in receipt of some of the requested information from SE and now feel free to put our response in the public domain. Read


Fact File 28. This analysis of YDL 2014 participation levels prepared for ABAC by Rob Whittingham was sent to the League Secretary prior to the YDL AGM. Read what we sent.Read


Fact File 27 shows that the 2014 funding awards to elite athletes continues to be a lottery.Read


UK Sport has just announced a new consultation process on funding. Let us hope it   is nothing like the recent England athletics consultation on fees which has resulted in fee increases despite being supported by only 0.2% of paying members. Read



Sport England has responded to ABAC’s assertions that it is funding a profitable and commercial enterprise at the expense of grass roots athletics. Read the letter here. ABAC will be responding. Read


A number of disturbing financial statements have emerged recently which lead us to question Sport England’s latest £400,000 handout. Read


Will the result of the Scottish Independence Referendum pave the way for change for athletics in England? Read


Will Cockerell’s  series of articles published in Athletics Weekly highlight all that is wrong with the 2014  coaching pathways.  Read


The 2014 statistical review of  British Athletics track and field has just been published by the National Union of Track Staticians. For the first time ever they express alarm at the rapid decline in participation and performance. Read


FF26. An analysis of the number of under 20 women track and field competitors in 2013 has led us to conclude that the lower Division YDL meets in 2014 will be sparsely attended. If UKA had analysed  their own stats before changing the 2014 rules this might have been averted. Read


FF25: New changes to the weights of implements to be used in future field events will cost the sport more than £100,000 and for no good purpose. Read


England athletics is spending £30,000 to tighten up its monitoring of Clubs’ and Networks’ athletes. Read


Olympic Legacy. While the average UK  pay rise in the 2012 Olympic year was 1% the 8 UKA Directors were rewarded with an average 35.4% salary increase. Not to be outdone the CEO of UKA increased his salary by 55.2% while his total remuneration soared to £276,594.  Read


England Athletics tightens rules to increase athlete registration numbers.  Read


FF24. Olympic Legacy Shock. A new study has revealed that 40 percent of the track and field athletes who competed in 2012 failed to record a performance in 2013.Read

EA Compliance letter.  Many athletic clubs are unable to register all their members with England Athletics for various reasons. They should not be worried as the recent EA compliance and enforcement proposals are not lawful.   Read


England Athletics is planning draconian measures to enforce athlete registration.  (Click here for linkIf enacted these changes will have serious implications for clubs. ABAC will publish Club’s comments soon.


Conflicting reports have been circulating regarding Coach Qualifications and the use of unqualified Long Throws Officials at League meetings. Here are the defining statements supplied by England Athletics.

UKA Coach Qualifications. Click link.

Long throws Officials. Click link.
FF23. Podium Funded Athletes’ performances at the 2013 World Championships.Read

Athletics Coach numbers have been updated following more detailed information from Sport England. Read FF22 here: Read

ABAC has compiled the latest data on the number of licensed officials. Read FF21 here. Read


After 4 years attempting to bottom out coach numbers, ABAC has finally received the actual figures from Sport England. ABAC Fact File 20 reports on a deplorable 50% decline in actual numbers over the last 4 years and which clearly contradicts the official figure of 42,465 given by Sport England in February of this year!


The NUTS statistical review of British Athletics has been published annually by NUTS since 1958 and has faithfully catalogued the progress of British Athletics. The 2013 edition has just been released and contains a new and unique insight into the state of our sport’s demography. Read “The Final Page” here.


Full Minutes of the EA meeting held on 14th Dec 2012 in London to discuss proposed Affiliation Fees



ABAC ‘s letter to clubs on fees


Clubs are invited to post letters relating to the fees debate on this site. Send copies to feesurvey@britishathleticsclubs.com. Click here to see letters from clubs.



Track and Field Funding crisis deepens.  The looming funding crisis for athletics is already affecting future Track and Field competitions. Read the latest developments.



England Athletics’ plans to increase athlete affiliation fees has come as a shock to many clubs. Here is our analysis and advice on what you should do. (8th Nov. 2012)



The Government’s new schools sport plans will require more work from volunteers. Read


England Athletics has announced that the role and delivery of its Run In England project is under review following the withdrawal of the management group. Here is ABAC’s assessment of this development.



Posted on, 19 Jan 2012, “New Coalition plans to boost club links as students shun sport on leaving school.” We comment on the latest Government initiative.



Several clubs have contacted UKA pointing out that the existing insurance scheme for coaches is inadequate for the new coaching structure. As a result UKA claims it is changing its insurance cover. But is it? Read the details.



ABAC announces it has commissioned World renowned athletics statistician –Rob Whittingham- to analyse track and field athletics over recent years.



ARC – The Association of Running Clubs- is getting strong support on the Runners World forum. We reproduce one message here. Also we assess the loss of funding to grass roots sport since the start of UKA’s “Run in England” and other initiatives….



Run Britain has taken a swipe at ARC. Add to this other recent UKA’s announcements and we see a Governing body looking in not out.



The following officers of ABAC were elected at the Fourth Annual General Meeting held at the Thames Valley Athletics Centre, Eton on 21st November 2009.



With the new Coalition Government threatening to merge Sport England, UK Sport and the Youth Sport Trust into a single quango Charles Gains reminds us that the bureaucracy and waste inflicting our sport was predicted.



In a previous article we criticised the expensive Sport Satisfaction Survey funded by Sport England which concluded that 81% of respondents were satisfied with the state of athletics. Since then ABAC has carried out its own more relevant athletic club survey. Here is -The ABAC Club Survey..

England Athletics announces UKA’s latest coaching initiatives and raises more questions than answers…



As the number of athletes, volunteers and officials continue to decline, the effect on clubs begins to bite…



Here are the agreed minutes of the latest meeting between officers of ABAC and England Athletics which clarify several of the latest initiatives by the Governing Body for athletics in England…



Sport England has published the results from its latest survey aimed at quantifying how satisfied people are with their sport experiences. What do they show?.. Here are the results for athletics together with our views.

The 2009 AGM Minutes for ABAC are now available for member clubs on The Members section of this web site access to which is password protected.

UKA is introducing a new scheme to help young athletes and their coaches. The concept is good but what about its implementation? ABAC comments.. Read


Jim Cowan will be outlining new ideas on the strategic future of athletics in the UK after the ABAC AGM on 21st Nov. Here is the Agenda.



UKA changes insurance cover note excess details.



UKA’s Insurance cover note for 2009 – 2010 has just been released.