Scrap Funding For Elite Athletes.

Now we have something / quite-a-lot to discuss and celebrate.
Bonefishblues
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Re: Scrap Funding For Elite Athletes.

Postby Bonefishblues » 11 Feb 2019, 12:07pm

PH wrote:
Bonefishblues wrote:Why do they need scrap in the first place?

:oops: that’s my phone....
Corrected to KGF

Wasn't directed at you PH - just another of my lame attempts to make amusing quips - this time at the Thread Title's proposition that we should fund scrap for athletes, perhaps for their future life outside athletics, who knows? :D

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Re: Scrap Funding For Elite Athletes.

Postby PH » 11 Feb 2019, 12:14pm

Bonefishblues wrote:
PH wrote:
Bonefishblues wrote:Why do they need scrap in the first place?

:oops: that’s my phone....
Corrected to KGF

Wasn't directed at you PH - just another of my lame attempts to make amusing quips - this time at the Thread Title's proposition that we should fund scrap for athletes, perhaps for their future life outside athletics, who knows? :D

Then double :oops: :oops:

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Re: Scrap Funding For Elite Athletes.

Postby Audax67 » 11 Feb 2019, 2:34pm

Coming in after three pages I'm not going to read all the foregoing. However:

Back in the late 90s here Marie-George Buffet, a communist, was Minister for Youth and Sports, and cycle touring clubs, amongst others, flourished.

Once the Socialists were out the Ministry passed across the aisle and the rhetoric was all about Making France Great Again by cultivating Olympic athletes etc. Funding for ordinary clubs fell and has never risen again, and since Macron got in it has practically disappeared.

So what's more important: funding a few people who might make a country seem prestigious, or enabling thousands of ordinary people to practise their favourite sports?
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Re: Scrap Funding For Elite Athletes.

Postby Bonefishblues » 11 Feb 2019, 3:36pm

Well obviously they are not mutually exclusive, are they?

I mean, the experience of the 2012 Olympics and Team GeeBeez outstanding success leading to untold tens of thousands of people taking up sports.

Oh wait...

But, I do get a lot of pleasure and reflected glory from British sporting success, and it's my own lazy buttock fault if I don't get out and do something really exotic like, oh, I don't know, go for a walk.

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Re: Scrap Funding For Elite Athletes.

Postby pjclinch » 11 Feb 2019, 4:30pm

Again, much of this is where is the funding coming from. If it's from lottery profits I don't think you have nearly as much justification to be doing as if it's general taxation. The properly important stuff should be general taxation. Seeing Team GB clean up in the velodrome at the Olympics is nice but not what I'd call properly important, but since most of it's paid for effectively by donation I don't have a problem with that.

That the National Cycle Network is mainly in the hands of a charity rather than the same people who do the roads is, on the other hand, ridiculous.

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Re: Scrap Funding For Elite Athletes.

Postby pete75 » 11 Feb 2019, 7:39pm

mjr wrote:
pjclinch wrote:Also, no one has really gone in to how successful the amateurs would be were it not for the infrastructure provided on the back of the elite central funding. I suspect the Derbados velodrome wouldn't be there without the interest in track cycling built on the back of funding provided to the Hoys and Pendletons etc. Leaving it to talented amateurs with little real structure gave us Beryl Burton, Chris Boardman, Graeme Obree... but again they're outliers and there can be years between them.

That'll be Chris Hoy who was successful as a talented amateur outside the BC system at first (because it was only just starting to get lottery funding), riding with City of Edinburgh RC and then Team Athena. Maybe he wouldn't have been AS successful without central funding, but who's to say that funding had to be from the lottery quasi-taxes? Also, if the Derby velodrome wasn't there, I'm pretty sure we had others, so would Huub Wattbike simply have based themselves at another?

I think Nicole Cooke's "The Breakaway" really casts some doubt on whether the Performance Programme approach has been efficient - or fair even to athletes who seem like they really ought to qualify for it by any objective measures.


Without the Derby Velodrome it's more than likely Saffron Lane would have remained in use. A decent track - good enough for the world championships in 1970. WIthout the Manchester velodrome Fallowfield would probably still be going as well.

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Re: Scrap Funding For Elite Athletes.

Postby PH » 11 Feb 2019, 7:57pm

pete75 wrote:
Without the Derby Velodrome it's more than likely Saffron Lane would have remained in use.

It hadn’t been in use for almost a decade when Derby Arena was first proposed and it had already been demolished before Derby was finally approved in 2012. It is a shame it wasn’t kept open, but open air tracks can’t complete with indoor and Derby is successful because it’s multi use in a way an open track couldn’t be.

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Re: Scrap Funding For Elite Athletes.

Postby RickH » 11 Feb 2019, 8:15pm

pete75 wrote:WIthout the Manchester velodrome Fallowfield would probably still be going as well.

The Fallowfield velodrome was still standing when I started as a student in Manchester in 1977. But the concrete track wasn't in a good state. The student flat I was in was close by & I had a couple of rides round but I don't think it was in active use for cycling. The central area may have been used as a sports pitch of some sort but my recollection is somewhat hazy.

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Re: Scrap Funding For Elite Athletes.

Postby mjr » 11 Feb 2019, 9:29pm

pjclinch wrote:That the National Cycle Network is mainly in the hands of a charity rather than the same people who do the roads is, on the other hand, ridiculous.

IIRC less than 1% is in the hands of Sustrans, so who do you mean?
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Re: Scrap Funding For Elite Athletes.

Postby awavey » 12 Feb 2019, 1:01am

pjclinch wrote:
mjr wrote:
pjclinch wrote:Also, no one has really gone in to how successful the amateurs would be were it not for the infrastructure provided on the back of the elite central funding. I suspect the Derbados velodrome wouldn't be there without the interest in track cycling built on the back of funding provided to the Hoys and Pendletons etc. Leaving it to talented amateurs with little real structure gave us Beryl Burton, Chris Boardman, Graeme Obree... but again they're outliers and there can be years between them.

That'll be Chris Hoy who was successful as a talented amateur outside the BC system at first (because it was only just starting to get lottery funding), riding with City of Edinburgh RC and then Team Athena. Maybe he wouldn't have been AS successful without central funding, but who's to say that funding had to be from the lottery quasi-taxes? Also, if the Derby velodrome wasn't there, I'm pretty sure we had others, so would Huub Wattbike simply have based themselves at another?

I think Nicole Cooke's "The Breakaway" really casts some doubt on whether the Performance Programme approach has been efficient - or fair even to athletes who seem like they really ought to qualify for it by any objective measures.


So you'd have one more to add your list of outliers, but he'd still be an outlier, and lucky that Meadowbank happened to be there from a Commonwealth Games.
It's meaningless asking, but who's to say that funding had to be from the lottery quasi-taxes?, because it was and the point I was making was that if it comes from what amounts to voluntary donations from lottery players then complaining you could use it for something general taxation should be used on is a moot point.

The Breakaway doesn't "cast some doubt" as much as shout out very clearly that as far as women's road racing went the elite programme was absolutely shocking when Cooke was (sort of...) part of it. But that's not really the point here, is it? Look at the strength in depth of the GB women's track endurance squad and compare that to any other state of play in British cycling strength in our lifetimes.


but again were they outliers to begin with ? and given the womens track endurance side is a relatively a new part of the Olympic programme, GB had much of the field to themselves for such a long time, other nations have had to catch up to find enough riders to create a talent pool to pick from. post 2020 I think will be when it should be evident that we are creating new elite athletes via the programme, the generation inspired by London 2012 should then be coming through.

but Id still believe the road racing side is still as shockingly bad as when Nicole was taking part, I dont think thats changed much at all because of the way the funding is linked only to medal/world championship success as the only measures

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Re: Scrap Funding For Elite Athletes.

Postby pjclinch » 12 Feb 2019, 7:48am

mjr wrote:
pjclinch wrote:That the National Cycle Network is mainly in the hands of a charity rather than the same people who do the roads is, on the other hand, ridiculous.

IIRC less than 1% is in the hands of Sustrans, so who do you mean?


I mean Sustrans. While you're looking at, I guess, miles of tarmac, I'm looking at the simple fact that no Sustrans, no NCN.

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Re: Scrap Funding For Elite Athletes.

Postby pjclinch » 12 Feb 2019, 8:26am

awavey wrote:
pjclinch wrote:
mjr wrote:That'll be Chris Hoy who was successful as a talented amateur outside the BC system at first (because it was only just starting to get lottery funding), riding with City of Edinburgh RC and then Team Athena. Maybe he wouldn't have been AS successful without central funding, but who's to say that funding had to be from the lottery quasi-taxes? Also, if the Derby velodrome wasn't there, I'm pretty sure we had others, so would Huub Wattbike simply have based themselves at another?

I think Nicole Cooke's "The Breakaway" really casts some doubt on whether the Performance Programme approach has been efficient - or fair even to athletes who seem like they really ought to qualify for it by any objective measures.


So you'd have one more to add your list of outliers, but he'd still be an outlier, and lucky that Meadowbank happened to be there from a Commonwealth Games.
It's meaningless asking, but who's to say that funding had to be from the lottery quasi-taxes?, because it was and the point I was making was that if it comes from what amounts to voluntary donations from lottery players then complaining you could use it for something general taxation should be used on is a moot point.

The Breakaway doesn't "cast some doubt" as much as shout out very clearly that as far as women's road racing went the elite programme was absolutely shocking when Cooke was (sort of...) part of it. But that's not really the point here, is it? Look at the strength in depth of the GB women's track endurance squad and compare that to any other state of play in British cycling strength in our lifetimes.


but again were they outliers to begin with ?


Possibly, but there's just too many of them for that to be likely.
You also need to look at the way outliers have other sports to choose from. Both of the Archibalds were pretty serious swimmers before they changed to cycling. Would Katie have changed to cycling if it had been the Boardman era profile, rather than the Trott/Rowsell/King era profile? Quite possibly not, I'd guess (aside from cleaning up at Highland Games where there was a big handicap for a teenage girl to help get the prize pot), and then less likely for John to follow her.

awavey wrote:but Id still believe the road racing side is still as shockingly bad as when Nicole was taking part, I dont think thats changed much at all because of the way the funding is linked only to medal/world championship success as the only measures


I don't think that's true. While the women are still at a serious disadvantage on the road compared to the men things appear to have improved a lot from Cooke's days. I don't want to suggest they haven't got a very long way still to go, but that's not the same as being the same.

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Re: Scrap Funding For Elite Athletes.

Postby Tangled Metal » 12 Feb 2019, 8:57am

Off topic but locally we have a large sports centre complex with outdoor running and cycling track plus more entertaining facilities like a outside aerial course, climbing wall / features (you really should look up salt Ayre for this) and a good soft play centre for the youngsters. Great facilities. A little out of the way though.

This facility was funded by LCC or Lancaster City Council i believe possibly with sports Council (or whatever is called more) funding on top. All good. It's a good resource for keeping the area healthy right? Apart from the funding coming from the off loading or closing of a all local swimming pools. That resulted in locals scrabbling around trying to find the money to buy the pools and set up limited companies / charities to run them. IIRC two closed outright. One set something up and its still a valued local resource for the community and local schools who still have a legal responsibility to teach swimming. Another was failing to find the money to set something up despite extra money and time being found for the attempt.

So what's the option for schools to teach swimming? Well there's the large swimming pool at Salt Ayre. It's a great resource for a large area. But how much education time it takes for schools to get there and back? Can it really support all users on its own?

Basically I believe sports funding is not good for many areas of the UK.

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Re: Scrap Funding For Elite Athletes.

Postby thirdcrank » 12 Feb 2019, 9:22am

Let's remember that not so very long ago, many sports had a clearly defined separation between amateur and professional competitions. One obvious effect is that people from a wealthy background have more time and often better facilities. Competitive cycling in the UK was ferociously protective of this difference. Other countries were not all the same in this respect, Iron Curtain countries having few (zero?) professional competitors, but plenty of non-combatant military officers with a background in "amateur" sport.

Forgive me if I've related this anecdote before, from Personal Best the autobiography of Beryl Burton who rode for GB as an amateur.

During much of her long career at the top of the sport, she worked as a labourer on a local smallholding. On one occasion when she was selected to represent GB (in East Germany?) it clashed with the RTTC 100 mile chamionship and BB wanted to defend her title. The BCF agreed on condition that she paid her own way to East Germany. After winning the 100, she flew to East Germany with her husband Charlie arriving in the middle of the night and unable to speak any German. Eventually, they ended up at a police station where a lot of hurried phone calls were made and they were taken to a hotel - swish by the standards of Iron Curtain countries. They ate a minimal breakfast to keep costs down, only to learn later that it was on the house, or rather that their hospitality had been authorised by a sports minister as appropriate for an athlete of her standing.

One point I'm trying to make is that later that day, representing GB, BB rode against amateurs enjoying conditions very different to her own.

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Re: Scrap Funding For Elite Athletes.

Postby brynpoeth » 12 Feb 2019, 9:14pm

No need for highly-paid €lit€$
BB, Cromack, Sidney were inspiration enough for me
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras & STOP signs