Governance

Up until 1997 the sport of athletics was owned by clubs and managed by the British Athletics Federation (BAF)  and the AAA’s. In 1997 a new Labour Government decided to fund all sport on the understanding that traditional management structures were scrapped and grant aided National Governing Bodies (NGB’s) were put in their place. BAF went into voluntary liquidation in 1998. UK Athletics Ltd was incorporated in the same year and was recognised as the Governing body for athletics in the UK by the IAAF in 1999. In 2004 Sport England asked Sir Andrew Foster to undertake a complete review of athletics and produced findings which were subsequently imposed on the sport. His study created concerns because he had been a main Board member of Sport England since 2003 and was therefore not independent. Moreover he did not consult a single club and talked to only one athlete during his deliberations. The statistics used in the Foster Report to support proposals for draconian changes were subsequently shown to be inaccurate. The Foster report was a flawed piece of work which has had major repercussions on athletics in the UK.

With this background a number of clubs formed ABAC (incorporated in 2004) with the object of it being a pressure group to look after the interests of the many volunteers and clubs who make the sport function. The articles in this section record the efforts made by ABAC to influence the Sport England backed changes and to record an ever burgeoning and undemocratic NGB.