UK Athletics

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UK Athletics
UK Athletics.svg
AffiliationWorld Athletics
Regional affiliationEuropean Athletics
LocationBirmingham, England
PresidentJason Gardener (since 2015)[1]
ChairmanIan Beattie
ReplacedBritish Athletics Federation
Official website
United Kingdom

UK Athletics (UKA) is the governing body for the sport of athletics in the United Kingdom. It is responsible for overseeing the governance of athletics events in the UK as well as athletes, their development, and athletics officials. The organisation outwardly rebranded itself as British Athletics in 2013, although it remains legally known as UK Athletics, and continues to use the UK Athletics name in internal governance.[2]

UK Athletics is structured as a non-profit company limited by guarantee. It has four member organisations from each of the constituent countries of the United Kingdom: England Athletics, Scottish Athletics, Welsh Athletics, and Athletics Northern Ireland.


UK Athletics was founded in 1999 as a successor to the British Athletics Federation,[3] which had collapsed for financial reasons. Prominent among the reasons was the cost of the legal bills in the Diane Modahl contract dispute case.[4][5]

The British Athletics brand

Former long distance runner David Moorcroft, previously Chief Executive of the British Athletics Federation, continued in the same role at the newly formed UKA.[6] He headed the organisation until 2006 when he stepped down after Great Britain's worst performance at a European Athletics Championships for twenty years. The results in Gothenburg (their sole gold medal coming in the 100 m relay) were below expectations and failed to meet the target for improving British athletics in preparation for the upcoming 2012 London Olympics.[7] Moorcroft's departure triggered a restructuring of the organisation and the creation of the role of chairman, to which businessman Ed Warner was appointed.[8] The current chief executive is Niels de Vos.[9] Lynn Davies, the former Olympic champion long jumper, is the incumbent president.[10]

Charles van Commenee was made national head coach, a newly created role, in September 2008.[11][12] Shortly afterwards Peter Eriksson was appointed head coach of the Paralympic Programme.[13] Van Commenee stepped down after the London 2012 Olympics due to the team's failure to meet the medal target he had set.[14] This was despite a reasonably favourable reaction to Britain's achievement of six medals and the desire of UK Athletics that he should remain in the post.[15] Van Commenee was succeeded by Peter Eriksson, who served only seven months of a five-year contract before resigning for personal reasons. UKA Performance Director Neil Black was appointed temporary replacement.[16] A restructuring announced in December 2013 saw the single role of head coach replaced by three heads of department (endurance, sprints and field events).[17]

The principal sponsor of the organisation, as of April 2013, is Sainsbury's, replacing Aviva.

The athletes compete in Olympic competition under the brand name of Team GB.

The current CEO is Jack Buckner[18] and the Chair is Ian Beattie.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Former sprinter Jason Gardener to become president of UK Athletics from The Guardian.
  2. ^ "UKA Unveils British Athletics". UK Athletics. 24 January 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  3. ^ "About UK Athletics". UK Athletics. 2013. Archived from the original on 11 December 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  4. ^ Barrie Houlihan (2002). Dying to win: doping in sport and the development of anti-doping policy. Council of Europe. pp. 190–. ISBN 978-92-871-4685-4. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  5. ^ Ivan Waddington; Andy Smith (29 January 2009). An introduction to drugs in sport: addicted to winning?. Routledge. pp. 230–. ISBN 978-0-415-43125-5. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  6. ^[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Moorcroft quits as athletics boss. BBC Sport (24 August 2006). Retrieved on 7 November 2009.
  8. ^ Businessman to head UK Athletics. BBC Sport (9 January 2007). Retrieved on 7 November 2009.
  9. ^ "UK Athletics Board". UK Athletics. 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  10. ^ "UK Athletics Members Council". UK Athletics. 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  11. ^ Van Commenee named UKA head coach. BBC Sport (2009-09-23). Retrieved on 2009-11-07.
  12. ^ "Charles Van Commenee Appointed as Head Coach by UK Athletics". 23 September 2008. Archived from the original on 22 October 2008. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  13. ^ UK Athletics snares Canada's Eriksson. CBC Sport. Retrieved on 2010-06-08.
  14. ^ UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee to step down, BBC Sport, 11 September 2012
  15. ^ "London 2012: UK Athletics urges Charles van Commenee not to quit", The Guardian, 12 August 2012
  16. ^ Peter Eriksson steps down as UK Athletics head coach just seven months after replacing Charles van Commenee, The Telegraph, 15 May 2013
  17. ^ British Athletics Performance Structure Announcement, 5 December 2013
  18. ^ "British Swimming chief takes over at UK Athletics". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2 January 2023.
  19. ^ "New UK Athletics chair to give athletes direct say in how governing body is run". the Guardian. 31 October 2021. Retrieved 2 January 2023.

External links[edit]