30th October 2023
REVIEWING THE 2023 FUTURES PROGRAMME
Building on the success of recent years, athletes on the UK Athletics’ Futures Programme, supported by Nike, have continued to impress across Olympic and Paralympic cohorts in 2023.
On the Olympic Programme, 23 athletes were selected to represent Great Britain and Northern Ireland (GB & NI) teams – including seven who earned senior vests at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest – and 24 athletes delivered personal best performances.
On the Paralympic Programme, five athletes were selected to represent GB & NI at the Para Athletics World Championships in Paris, including Ben Sandilands (Steve Doig, Fife) who won gold in the T20 1500m.
Of those selected for the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Yemi Mary John (Alan James, Woodford Green Essex Ladies) – European U23 Championships 400m gold medallist – and Amber Anning (Chris Johnson, Brighton & Hove) won silver medals in the mixed 4 x 400m relay and the 4 x 400m relay respectively.
Futures athletes won medals across seven events at the European U20 Championships, including gold medals for Joy Eze (Michael Donnelly, Gateshead) in the women’s 100m and Charlie Carvell (Stewart Marshall, Telford) – an individual silver medallist in the 400m – as part of the men’s 4 x 400m relay (Carvell, Jake Minshull (Coventry), Dave Race (Kyle Bennett, Gateshead) and Sam Lunt (Andrew Fraser, Wirral)).
The women’s 4 x 100m relay team of Renee Regis (BFT Track Academy), Sophie Walton (Trevor Williams, Horwich), Joy Eze and Success Eduan (Anita Richardson, Sale Harriers Manchester), all Futures Relay Programme athletes, won a notable silver. In doing so, they clocked the second-fastest British junior mark of all time.
At the European U23 Championships, in addition to Yemi Mary John, the championship record breaking women’s 4 x 100m relay quartet of Cassie Ann Pemberton (Clarence Callender, Birchfield Harriers), Amy Hunt (Marco Airale, Charnwood), Alyson Bell (Anne Scott, Glasgow Jaguars/Giffnock North) and Aleeya Sibbons (Coral Nourrice, Newham & Essex Beagles) won an impressive gold.
Charlotte Payne (Paul Dickenson, Reading) and Ethan Hussey (Andrew Henderson, Leeds) won silver medals in the hammer and 800m respectively, while the men’s 4 x 400m relay team of Ethan Brown (Blackheath & Bromley), Brodie Young (James McMenemy, Glasgow Jaguars/Airdrie Harriers), Sam Reardon (Nigel Stickings, Blackheath and Bromley) and Ed Faulds (James Wright, Rugby & Northampton) took bronze.
In addition to Ben Sandilands who won his maiden senior world title at the World Para Athletics Championships In Paris In July, Madeline Down (Dominic McNeillis, Halesowen) represented England at the Commonwealth Youth Games, winning double gold in the 100m and long jump (T38).
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 2023 World Athletics Championships medallists Ben Pattison (Dave Ragan, Basingstoke & Mid Hants) and Charlie Dobson (Benke Blomkvist, Colchester), while previous graduates include Olympic and world silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson (Trevor Painter, Leigh) and Paralympic champion Owen Miller (Steve Doig, Fife).
Through a series of camps, experiences, and dedicated 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, UKA Head of Performance Pathway, said: “From European age-group championships to World Athletics and World Para Athletics Championships, this summer has offered the perfect stage for our Futures Programme athletes and their coaches.
“The Futures Programme focuses on engaging and understanding athletes and coaches, delving into their unique journeys and environments across different stages of development. The aim is to provide support, guidance and value when needed, recognising that individuals are at varying points in their developmental trajectories. It’s fantastic to see those who have successfully transitioned to a senior environment this summer, with twelve athletes progressing onto the World Class Programme for 2023/24 and many who achieved significant milestones within their personalised plans for the season.”
To follow the progress of UK Athletics’ Futures Programme athletes, check out UKA Futures (ukafutures) on Instagram.