Wednesday, 13 July 2016

If ever there was time for time for a blog....

Oh Dear, I haven't blogged since December. I apologise. Guessing no one actually cares, we have facebook, twitter etc these days, everyone kinda knows what I'm up to.

It's almost killed blogs which I think is a bit of a shame. I came back from West Highland Way weekend vowing I would blog about it, being such a rollercoaster ride towards it, an exciting build up and indeed an exciting finish. I will endeavor to do so but in meantime, while my head is in right place and I'm inspired to blog, I shall.

Everyone (who knows me, I mean, who else reads this) knows how much I love Ian, how proud I am of him. in everything he does. Sub3 marathon runner, sub 1.18 half, so many others that I wont bore you with, over 100 marathons, blah blah... he's been running a long time. I've still to beat his WHW race time but I am working on it (be prepared Susan & Nick)  

There is no doubt I will never beat his shorter races, but I will continue to work on the longer stuff.

So, why would James Stewart and crewing for Hal Keorner not chuck me back into blogoshpire. Well once again because of social media. Everyone knew James ran an amazing race, coached by record holder Paul, who needs no surname.

So, since then. Weekend after *that* race we were down in Birmingham for UK championships and Olympic trails. Big hopes for  Scotland to get place for the Olypmics. I wish I could explain to you how emotional feels. especially when the pressure is on!

What a great weekend we had with all 8 Scottish Athletes perfoming when it counts. Its  always been Ian's motto and it certainly was that day.  Although tbh when i'm standing at start of race sometimes I really just don't want to hear it!

Last night over dinner we chatted about the Olympics and Ian told me the Team was being announced today (Wed 13th) Exciting times!  There I was sitting at work trying to catch up on paperwork (how do people do desk jobs) when I get a txt from him saying fifteen Scots in TeamGB

fifteen- that's the most Scottish ever.  EVER

I read it was but was busy doing paperwork (yay) so took wee while to congratulate him. He is like a proud person in proud person land.  Anyway, now that he is home (via the 2 mile race at the Meadows obviously) And now we're watching golf. Ian loves EVERY sport.
 if tiddlywinks was on tv as a sport, hed watch it

Why am I congratulating him though.  Well, maybe my friends & family know. Maybe they dont, because he doesn't make any issues of what people say and he has always said " I try to let results speak for themselves"

And he does. And he has.

I have two articles that were written in 2012 and 2014 -by Doug Gillon, who has been Athletics Correspondent of The Herald for mant years,   I have had to copy and paste given no links available now. this will make my blog very long I guess but persevere please.

---- this is the article - 2012

IF Frank Dick, Scotland and Great Britain's former national coach, could not drive through the changes required to revitalise scottishathletics, it was suggested that perhaps nobody could.

Dick stepped down as chair of the governing body more than two months ago, because "he could not commit enough time given other interests" as the body put it this week.

Dick stated that he had spent three to four hours a day, seven days a week, on the role, yet in an exclusive first interview yesterday, his successor confirmed: "I won't be spending anything like four hours a day."

Ian Beattie, a 46-year-old ultra distance runner with 86 marathons on his competitive cv, has a background in banking and the investment management sector, but is currently chief operating officer of one of Scotland's most respected legal firms. He stood down after six years on sportscotland's management board, four as vice chair, to take on a sports post which it's hard not to perceive a poisoned chalice.

He follows some heavyweight incumbents – Dick, newspaper chairman Mark Hollinshead (another club standard marathon runner), and former world champion Liz McColgan.

Beattie's designation, however, has changed from that of his predecessors. He is non-executive chair. This may not be Mission Impossible, but is certainly Mission Very Difficult, with no more than four Scots in the Olympic team, and a squad of modest prospects for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Beattie met this observation with typical management speak: "It's challenging and exciting – a good opportunity. I'm looking forward to it."

Dick believed the sport needs sweeping cultural change, but failed to achieve that, and it's clear that frustration over inability to take the sport forward was at the root of his departure which coincided with the announcement of a GB World Indoor Championships team without a single Scot.

"I can't really comment on what Frank did," said Glasgow University graduate Beattie, "though I see some of the structures he started putting in place are fine, and look very positive".

Beattie spent yesterday with scottishathletics chief executive, Nigel Holl, and Stephen Maguire, the new director of coaching, who will start after the Paralympics.

They visited the new national indoor stadium, then crossed the road to Celtic Park, meeting all the sport's headquarters team. "After that, I'm even more enthusiastic about the prospects for athletics," he said. "It's going to take time to get the structures right, and everything in place, but there's a very solid base."

He sees his job as very different from Dick's hands-on style, and said Maguire's role would be very different from that of Steve Rippon and Laurier Primeau, the last two top coaching incumbents.

"My job, and I am very clear on it, is to make sure sport stays focused on what it should be doing, and let the team in place manage that while providing what advice I can. We have a great chance to do things in Scotland and the new director of coaching, whom I met for the first time, is really excited by that opportunity."The director of coaching will be overseeing. He is not going to be coaching individual athletes himself. He will be working with coaches, helping them develop. That's been clearly spelled out to him."

There has been friction in the past between athletes' coaches and the national coach, because some of the former perceived the head coach as a threat, poaching the best talent.

Beattie said he would model his style on his interim chairmanship at sportscotland. "I provided support. I caught up with them once a week, sent emails. I provided guidance, but that was it. And I kept in touch. What I have made clear is that I will do this job in a non-executive way. I'll guide the board. I don't have the time to spend four hours a day. I don't have Frank's coaching background, or anything like that, but I do have probably more of an ability to chair something, to guide and let the team get on with it, set the structure."
He will be phoning Dick, "to thank him, and to pick his brains, but I am keen on look ahead, and get the things in place that we need to do. It's going to be challenging, going to be exciting


looks like he doesn't have much confidence.

Second article 2014
- makes a bit of a recognition

WHEN Ian Beattie took over from former UK coaching director Frank Dick as chair of scottishathletics, I suggested it might prove to be a poisoned chalice.

Less than 27 months out from the Commonwealth Games, the omens were bleak, with a new director of coaching - the third in under two years - yet to take up office. Yet the four medals harvested from Glasgow 2014 confirm that club marathon and ultra-runner Beattie has succeeded where others with a stronger athletics background fell short. A glimmer of hope or false dawn? Beattie has no doubt it's the former.

Incontrovertible statistics we presented earlier this week showed a disturbing lack of Scots in the upper echelons of UK rankings. I suggested four medals should not blind us to concerns about the sport's overall health. This provoked a flood of data from the governing body, still smarting from an accusation by Dick that scottishathletics had "insufficient performance mindset".

Beattie was "discouraged competely" by that. "There's an absolute drive for perform, and a lack of acceptance we are going to be mediocre," he countered yesterday.

He professes no more than "satisfaction" at the Hampden medal haul: "I sat through all the athletics events and could not relax until Lynsey Sharp got that fourth medal . . . we needed to get that.Sportscotland are very supportive, and there's a good relationship but ultimately we don't want to be going in there trying to explain why we have not delivered on our target."

Funding negotiations and a full review in October could have meant funding cuts. "Sportscotland expect us to deliver, focused on medals, performances in finals, and so on."

Much is linked to participation numbers, which are not necessarily consistent with driving elite performance. Beattie spent six years on sportscotland's management board, four as vice chair, and insists the quango is far less driven by that compared to England, where heads have rolled in governing bodies perceived to have failed.

"I don't think sportscotland have moved as far down the participation line as England, where it's become the be-all and end-all," he adds.

Dick's resignation coincided with the failure of a single Scot to gain inclusion in Britain's World Indoor Championship team. That tide has turned. There are seven Scots at the current European Championship in Zurich, the same as last year's World event and one more than the 2012 Europeans where Lynsey Sharp won gold. "We knew it would be tough for Glasgow," says Beattie, "so I was very keen not to make excuses.

"We knew Glasgow was coming, and we had to focus on our target of more than two medals. We had to try to deliver on that. The fact that we did was satisfying, but we'd like to use that as a launch pad for more. There are some encouraging signs. There were a lot of younger athletes in that squad, with 29 of them 23 or less. The big challenge now is to develop them further. "

Two previous home Games were followed by inferior performances: 1970 (eight medals) with one in 1974; 1986 (six medals) with five in 1990. Beattie acknowledges the challenge is now to avert a repetition. Nothing less than four medals is likely to be acceptable in 2018.

The non-executive chair sings the praises of his full-time staff. Time was when there was a them-and-us attitude to the governing body. Demonstrably Club Together, an initiative launched in early 2012 is changing the face of the sport. Only adopted as yet by a minority of clubs, the effects are dramatic.

"******* there it is.******
 So, make up you're own mind. Ian didn't run those trials, Nigel didn't jump those hurdles and Mark didn't throw the hammer but make no mistake, Scottish Athletics are in avery good place, and that's in part to my husband.

1 comment:

  1. You are right to be very proud, as Ian should be, and as a country we should be. It takes a lot of unsung effort to make that level of magic happen, yes from the athletes but also from the support network. Job very well done! Chapeau!



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