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Last Updated: Monday, 10 May, 2004, 12:56 GMT 13:56 UK
Britain begin boss hunt
Bill Sweetenham
Sweetenham has vastly improved Britain's medal prospects
British athletics is being urged to follow swimming's lead and appoint a performance director in the mould of Australian Bill Sweetenham.

Sir Andrew Foster's review of the sport has commended the way Sweetenham has rebuilt British swimming's prospects since a poor Olympics in 2004.

Foster also recommends the creation of a new body called English Athletics to oversee the sport in the regions.

Current British athletics chief Max Jones retires after the Athens Games.

"Obviously they have to get the best person possible but this was always being considered even before The Foster Report," said Jones.

"You've got to go for the best and when I retire the job will be advertised worldwide to achieve that.

"Having said that, they should not rule out any of our current performance directors.

"Each and every one of them in their own way is extremely talented coaches."

We agree with Sir Andrew that the sport is not in crisis but at a crossroads
UK Athletics chief executive David Moorcroft

Foster insists the 21m legacy funding allocated to UK Athletics after the government failed to build a stadium to host the 2005 World Championships will not be released immediately.

Although some money will be made available, he prefers to see the sport build a stronger infrastructure first.

Responding to Foster's recommendations, UK Athletics chief executive David Moorcroft welcomed the review.

"We agree with Sir Andrew that the sport is not in crisis but at a crossroads; his review was needed and it has given the sport a clear way forward," he said.

"The report identifies a positive direction for athletics in the UK that involves and benefits all sectors of the sport.

"UK Athletics believes that the sport should unite around its recommendations and we are committed to working with all those who wish to play a part in taking athletics forward."




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