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England Athletics and Podium Analytics partner to tackle injury in youth athletics

15 March 2022 – England Athletics and Podium Analytics (“Podium”), the NGO and charity committed to reducing injury in sport, have today announced a long-term partnership to tackle injury in youth athletics.    

The wide-ranging collaboration will centre on reducing the incidence and impact of injury in athletics in 11-18-year-olds. A key focus of the partnership is to better manage the physical load of young athletes and see the link between (over)exposure to sporting activity and the type, and number, of injuries incurred.  

Through this partnership, England Athletics and Podium will, over time, be able to better understand why injuries occur and how they can be avoided in athletes aged 11-18 – a critical stage in shaping the lifelong health and wellbeing of an individual.   

The initial focus of the partnership will see Podium’s Injury Insight Platform available for athletes, between the ages of 16-18 years, who are part of England Athletics’ Youth Talent Programme (YTP). 

Podium’s platform will enable England Athletics’ coaches, schools and clubs to record the hours of sporting activity and any injuries that occur for each young athlete they teach. This important data, which is currently unavailable, will enable England Athletics to have greater oversight over the volume of sporting activity being undertaken by each athlete per week, away from the monitored activity within the England Athletics talent programmes.  

Chris Jones, Chief Executive Officer of England Athletics, commented: “At England Athletics, our focus is on athlete welfare and ensuring athletics is an inclusive sport where everyone can flourish. That means taking injury and recovery extremely seriously.  

“As such, we are delighted to be partnering with Podium, whose platform will allow us to better understand our young athletes’ injury profiles and the activity they undertake at school and in clubs – something we’ve had no accurate way of measuring until now. Participation in all sport is something we encourage, especially in young people, but we need to find ways to prevent and manage injury better if we are to protect athletes in the long term.” 

Stephen Jones, Chief Operating Officer of Podium Analytics, added: “Like us, England Athletics are determined to reduce injury in youth sport. Amongst other things, the data collected on our platform will be instrumental in helping England Athletics and the Podium Analytics Institute for Youth Sports Medicine and Technology at the University of Oxford better understand the links between exposure to sport and injury occurrence in youth athletics. 

“The Podium platform is delivered at no cost and we encourage any of England Athletics’ partner schools to contact Podium to join our ground-breaking programme.” 

ENDS

Media contacts 

Maitland/AMO
podiumanalytics@maitland.co.uk   
Frederica Bendit - 07557 833 442 
Joanna Davidson - 07827 254 567 

England Athletics 
James Webb - jwebb@englandathletics.org  

 

Notes to Editors  

The Podium Injury Insights Platform will be initially rolled out amongst the 440 YTP athletes, aged 16-18 years old, with further expansion planned to support the Junior Talent Programme (JTP) for young athletes aged 19-21 years old and the broader England Athletics Club network.  

The data collected will give a greater understanding of the injury profiles of the young people enrolled in the YTP and inform the decision making of coaches to create a safer environment to train and compete in. The information will support detailed research projects at the Podium Analytics Institute for Youth Sports Medicine and Technology at the University of Oxford as well as with England Athletics’ Research partners, informing future strategies and interventions for young people engaged with sport. In particular, there will be particular emphasis on the incidence and prevalence of overuse injuries, of overtraining and identifying thresholds for injury and optimal ways to decrease injury risk, and the impact of early sport-specific specialisation. 

Through partnering with Podium, England Athletics will be at the forefront of delivering the changes required to protect youth athlete welfare and to provide crucial injury data for youth athletes where very limited data currently exists. 

 

About Podium Analytics 

Podium Analytics is an NGO, registered as a charity (England and Wales) with a vision to create a safer world of sport. Founded by Ron Dennis CBE, its mission is to significantly reduce the incidence and impact of sports injury, with a focus on 11–18-year-olds. Podium’s team is made up of hand-picked specialists with proven expertise in business, academia, science, technology and sport, who share in a sense of responsibility for shaping a safer legacy for sport.

Podiumanalytics.org

 

About England Athletics 

England Athletics, as the national governing body for athletics and running in England, leads on support for grassroots athletics and running clubs, facilities and schools, affiliation and membership, domestic competition opportunities at area, county, national, and international [England] level, the recruitment, training and retention of coaches, officials, and leaders, volunteering, participation and the development of talent pathways for athletes through to the Commonwealth Games.

England Athletics is also responsible for creating and delivering the key participation programme, funetics, which provides fun and inclusive activities to help 4-11 year old children learn, develop and practice running, jumping and throwing all year round, for a healthy, active and confident future. England Athletics currently has more than 1,700 affiliated clubs and organisations (covering track and field, road running, fell, hill, trail and cross country clubs), 3,000 RunTogether groups, 163,500 registered athletes, 25,000 licensed coaches and leaders and 4,500 officials. 

Englandathletics.org

 

Youth Talent Pathway (YTP)  

The England Athletics Youth Talent Programme (YTP) is the first step on the Talent pathway designed to meet the needs of identified, talented English athletes aged between 16 and 18 years of age and their coaches. It focuses on developing a dual career for the athlete through fulfilling their potential within the sport and also in their education and employability. The programme aims to complement club provision and add value to the athlete and coach plan to help develop a broad range of skills, abilities and behaviours needed for senior success. This is delivered through practical training sessions with likeminded athletes in their event group, performance support sessions and workshops. There is also the opportunity for coaches to access additional qualifications, mentoring and support delivered through the England Athletics YTP coaches.

For those athletes in full-time education the YTP will allow them to gain an academic support qualification (Diploma in Sporting Excellence) allowing progression either to further / higher education or to gain employment within a related field.  Those athletes not in full-time education will be able to access the YTP content and use skills gained from their training to support their personal development and progression without the qualification. 

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