54 athletes have been confirmed on the Elite Athlete Development Programme for 2019 by Guernsey Athletics.
The programme identifies the highest performing athletes within the club, including juniors in their respective age groups, and aims to facilitate their ongoing development and performance. The financial support provided will generally be exclusively available for the reasons of travel to competitions. Other non-monetary elements are in place to positively influence other facets of the athletes’ ongoing development and success.
The name of the programme has been tweaked to demonstrate the aim of developing elite senior athletes. Also reflecting this and recognising the commitment of high level senior-aged athletes in our local sport is the increased funding of the Elite Performance tier.
Marathon star Ryan Burling has been added to the top tier of senior support following a ‘settling in’ period and will benefit from up to £900 of support in 2019. The top tier of junior support has pleasingly swollen somewhat in terms of athlete numbers with the promotion of U20 sprinter Abi Galpin, the talented Bain siblings Chris and Kate, and U15 javelin thrower Caitlin Jackson. They join the likes of number 1 & 2 all-time 400m Guernsey women Sophie Porter and Indi Gallagher in accessing up to £600 towards competition travel.
Inclusion in the programme permits athletes to draw on the time of the Development Team to whatever extent is necessary to contribute towards their ongoing development within the sport of athletics. The current structures in place in the club are designed to be ‘athlete centred’ with priority towards the athletes identified on the programme.
Guernsey Athletics Development Officer Tom Druce said of the programme: “The key thing for many athletes can be having the ability to tap into the resources within the club such as the Development Team of myself and Lee [Merrien]. Whilst the funding for trips is an obvious benefit in terms of accessing the correct competitions, I see the advice on offer to athletes on the programme as equally important. If I cannot provide the required advice or information, generally I can get in touch with someone who can.”
Some athletes included in the programme already receive support from other sources such as British Athletics or personal sponsorships. These athletes are required to disclose their income before being permitted to draw on club funding – but some choose not to draw on the financial support. They are still listed on their appropriate tiers and will often receive tailored non-monetary support from the Development Officer.
The list of members is below and available to download along with full programme details from the Elite Athlete Development Programme Page here.