Performance & Participation

The main reason Government became more involved in funding and controlling   sport was the poor performance of the UK teams at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Only 1 gold medal was won by British Sportsmen and women. Athletics produced just 4 silver and 2 bronze medals.

Over the following years Government took more direct control over sport and increasing amounts of cash were injected into 46 different sports’ governing bodies. Operating on 4 year funding cycles grant aid was approved based on performance and participation targets for each sport.

The articles in this section deal with performance and participation. At the beginning claims to have met athletics’ targets were made by UKA Ltd and Sport England. But over a period of several years, anecdotal evidence pointed to a deteriorating situation. This series of articles records the gradual revelation of the actual facts culminating in the 2011 ABAC Fact Files which revealed the dire state that the main body of athletics finds itself in. There continues to be a disconnection between the Sport England data and that produced by ABAC. The debate continues and ABAC has an ongoing programme of lobbying the DCMS and the Ministers responsible for sport. This follows earlier initiatives which included club petitions for a review of participation strategies and requests for information under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.