Athletics (Report)

Oral Answers to Questions — Education and Science – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 5th December 1968.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Davidson Mr Arthur Davidson , Accrington 12:00 am, 5th December 1968

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he has now considered the Byers Report on Athletics; and what representations he has had about it.

Photo of Mr Denis Howell Mr Denis Howell , Birmingham Small Heath

The report of the Byers Committee was made to the Amateur Athletic Association and the British Amateur Athletic Board which commissioned the inquiry and it is for the athletics bodies to consider its recommendations. I have had one meeting with representatives of all the bodies concerned and I am looking forward to meeting them again once they have formulated their views.

Photo of Mr Arthur Davidson Mr Arthur Davidson , Accrington

Is my hon. Friend aware that there is a feeling among top athletes that the administrative set-up under which they have to perform is out of date and that they are prevented from achieving their full potential? They feel that the set-up is so out-dated that they are penalised when they perform in world events.

Photo of Dr Horace King Dr Horace King , Southampton, Itchen

Order. There are a lot of Questions on the Order Paper.

Photo of Mr Denis Howell Mr Denis Howell , Birmingham Small Heath

I cannot answer for the A.A.A., but there is a growing appreciation on all sides by athletes and authorities that we need a much greater professionalism in our administration, and we want to bring this about.

Photo of Mr Charles Morris Mr Charles Morris , Manchester Openshaw

What reply has the hon. Gentleman given to the British Amateur Athletic Board's proposals for a national coaching scheme?

Photo of Mr Denis Howell Mr Denis Howell , Birmingham Small Heath

I have not yet had such formal proposals put before me, but I hope to meet the bodies concerned very soon when their views are formulated.