Home Page. 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.
The Final Page by Rob Whittingham
Whilst the Power of 10 website is unsuitable for producing the lists in this Annual it now offers a unique chance to look at track and field athletics as a whole. Almost every performance by athletes over the over of age of 16 is recorded and analysis can provide a detailed view of the sport.
The figures below are take from UKA’s Power of 10 website, with corrections and additions from my own database. I have produced both UK figures and estimated England figures using 85% as the factor. ( a percentage I have verified by analysis of thousands of athletes). Where dates of birth are not known, I have used the ratios of known dates of birth in the same age group to allocate percentages of these athletes to specific years.
|of Birth||in 2012||Total||Men||Women||Total||Men||Women|
These numbers give the first accurate way to determine drop out rates. Looking at overall figures for the UK it can be seen that 76% of athletes in the sport at 16 have dropped out by the age of 20, this number rises to 90% by the age of 26. (widely regarded as the peak age for performance across all track and field events)
The figures also show that by the age of 16 there are about a third more men than women doing track and field and this ratio increases to almost 2:1 for athletes in the 20 to 34 age group. (an important factor in determining the structure of leagues)
A great deal more analysis will be done on these figures, but the small amount done on the 2012 numbers confirms an in depth analysis done for 2011. Some of the facts –
20% of athletes in the 20 to 34 age range only compete in 1 meeting in the whole year.
50% of athletes, 20-34, compete 4 meetings or less in a year.
Only 20% of athletes , 20-34, compete in 10 meetings or more.
Perhaps using percentages hides the true meaning, here is a starting example showing the complete analysis for English women athletes aged 34 in 2012.
Of the 48 estimated athletes, 40 have known dates of birth, of these, 17 competed in 1 meeting in 2012, just 8 competed in 5 or more meetings and only 1 competed regularly (10 or more meetings). There are 329,900 women aged 34 in England (2011 census).
The numbers shown above bear no relation to the Sport England poll figures which seem to be an order of magnitude too large.
Demographic distribution of all track and field athletes who competed in 2012