Centralisation is the way forward, says boss Black

Have your say

UK Athletics performance director Neil Black believes restructuring plans are the “harder and sharper” focus required to ensure Britain’s athletes win more medals at the highest level.

UKA are planning to use Loughborough University as a central hub for elite athletes and coaches, a move which will lead to some coaches being made redundant. The likes of Olympic champions Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis, who are based in Portland and Sheffield respectively, will not ultimately be required to move to Loughborough, but Black believes centralising services is vital.

“We sat down with all of the staff a while ago and explained what it was that we were doing,” said Black.

“We’ve decided as part of the strategy to centralise on Loughborough. There is a surrounding support system which is based around coach and athlete support. There are other athletes on the world-class performance plan who don’t automatically fit into any of those categories, but will still be supported medically.”

York sprinter Richard Buck is already based in Loughborough, alongside Cleckheaton hammer thrower Sarah Holt and a host of other Yorkshire athletes.