28th October 2022
2022 Futures Programme Review
Against the challenging backdrop of a congested competition schedule, the British Athletics’ Futures Programme, supported by Nike, has continued to deliver impressive results across its Olympic and Paralympic cohorts in 2022.
On the Olympic Programme, 14 athletes from a total of 41 were selected to represent Great Britain and Northern Ireland (GB & NI) teams – including eight who made their senior debuts – while seven athletes were selected to represent their respective home countries at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Eight athletes achieved senior GB & NI performance standards.
Futures athletes won three medals at the World U20 Championships with double gold for Yemi Mary John (coach: Alan James, club: Woodford Green Essex Ladies) in the 400m and 4 x 400m relay, and bronze for Ethan Hussey (Andrew Henderson, Leeds) in the 800m. At senior level, Charlie Dobson (Benke Blomkvist, Colchester) won gold as part of the GB & NI men’s 4 x 400m team at the European Championships, while Jade O’Dowda in the heptathlon (John Lane, Newham & Essex Beagles), Ben Pattison in the 800m (Dave Ragan, Basingstoke & Mid Hants) and Alastair Chalmers in the 400mH (Matt Ellias, Guernsey) won bronze medals at the Commonwealth Games.
Due to the postponement of the World Para Athletics Championships, there were no major GB & NI selection opportunities for athletes on the Paralympic Programme in 2022. However, six athletes were selected to compete across a limited number of events at the Commonwealth Games and three athletes made the podium, including T47 100m gold medallist Emmanuel Oyinbo-Coker (Joe McDonnell, Newham & Essex Beagles). Fabienne Andre (Jenny Archer, Weir Archer Academy) and Daniel Sidbury (Christine Parsloe, Sutton & District), who both receive educational support from the Futures Programme alongside their Inclusion on the World Class Programme, also claimed Commonwealth medals In Birmingham. 12 athletes from a total of 18 achieved personal bests.
The Futures Programme is focused on supporting athletes and coaches who have demonstrated the potential to succeed at future Olympic and Paralympic Games. Recent graduates include Olympic 800m silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson (Trevor Painter, Leigh) – the European champion and world and Commonwealth silver medallist in 2022 – Paralympic 1500m champion Owen Miller (Steven Doig, Fife) and European 4 x 100m champion and 100m bronze medallist Jeremiah Azu (Helen James, Cardiff)
Through a series of camps, experiences and dedicated Futures Programme staff, the Programme provides opportunities for athletes to develop the skills and abilities required for international success and forms part of the pathway towards the World Class Programme (WCP).
Dan Wagner, British Athletics Performance Pathway Manager – Olympic, said: “This has been a unique year, most notably due to the packed calendar of events throughout the summer. It has been exciting, but it has also been challenging, and the continued progress of our Futures athletes and their coaches over that period is testament to their hard work and commitment.
“The Futures Academy is part of a pathway, and it’s important for our support to reflect the fact that our athletes are at different stages of their development. We are incredibly proud of those who stepped up to represent senior GB & NI teams, but also those who achieved goals within their plan and recorded personal bests, made GB junior teams or represented their country at the Commonwealth Games. They are all fantastic examples of success and demonstrate the importance of tailored support within the Programme.”
To follow the progress of British Athletics’ Futures Programme athletes, check out UKA Futures (ukafutures) on Instagram.