In 1988 the IOM
Government adopted a Sport and Recreation Strategy. The majority of the
recommendations within the 1988 report have now been implemented and the
Government has developed the plan for the next ten years. Consultants Torkildsen
Barclay produced the Isle of Man Sports & Recreation Strategy 2002 - 2012
which was approved in Parliament in December 2002.
This strategy sets out
a vision for the continued development and growth of sport on the
Island over the next ten
years, and the benefits that this will bring.
In summary this
strategy is based upon using the facilities that have been built over the past
ten years and creating sporting excellence based upon development programmes in
schools, clubs and sporting associations. To enable a planned, structured and
funded sports development programme to be established for sport on the
Island the Government is
looking to launch a new Community Key Sport
Programme focussing on only eight
key sports. These sports will be chosen on the basis that they
already have a strong development structure in place, have the potential to
develop such an infrastructure and have appeal to young people. The main
benefit of this is the appointment of a sports specific development officer who
will be responsible for co-ordinating the development programme and action plans
for each sport, and working with key staff such as the school sports
co-ordinators, the sports council, local clubs and
It is the belief of the
IOM Athletics Association that athletics on the island needs to be restructured
to take advantage of the IOM Governments Strategy and to ensure that the Island
Games most successful sport remains at the top of the premier division of sport
on the Island.
Changes in North of
England League systems are imminent, including the merger of the Mens and
Womens leagues, and there remains a real threat that if athletics on the Isle
of Man does not urgently implement changes to face these challenges that our
club system simply would not survive and we would be forced to realise changes
on a reactionary basis leaving Athletics in the Island in a less than favourable
With this background
the Isle of Man Athletics Association has put together the framework for
development of athletics on the Isle of
Man in the form of the
attached draft plan.
UK Athletics brought in
a rule in the 2002 rule-book which allows clubs to apply to form composite
teams, without fully amalgamating. The Isle of Man Athletics Association
welcomed this new rule, as it would allow us to put out a strong team in
championships and leagues without losing the spirit and strengths of our clubs
on a local level.
One of the most
important proposals within the plan is the creation of a national squad system of teams which would
compete within the league structure in the UK. These composite
teams would be drawn from athletes from all the clubs on the Island and would provide a
structure for an athlete to compete at the highest level whatever their age or
The Isle of Man
Athletics Association firmly believes that the club structure on the
at the heart of athletics. All our
clubs have spent a vast amount of time and energy in recruiting and coaching
youngsters, and providing them with local competition. We believe that our
existing clubs, with their strong local identities, contacts and training bases
should be supported in their continued growth on Island and in their
development of quality athletes.
There are many issues
that need addressing and I certainly dont have all the answers. This is the
reason why we are giving you the athletes the opportunity to have your say.
After all this is your plan, all I
have done is given you a framework to ensure that issues are identified and
addressed in a positive and proactive manner rather than implementing changes
when we are forced to do so.
Should you have any
questions, queries, comments or ideas for inclusion please do not hesitate to
get in touch and I will do my best to address and incorporate them into the
final proposal. My email address is [email protected] and my
Now is your opportunity
to speak up and air your views - there is little point complaining once the
proposals have been taken forward!
I look forward to
hearing from you.