Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Irish International racewalker Colin Griffin laments the lack of Sports Council funding...

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Irish International racewalker Colin Griffin laments the lack of Sports Council funding...

Just over a week ago, the Irish Sports council announced their list of grants to athletes for 2013. Of those listed, one notable exception was Irish international race walker Colin Griffin. This was despite the fact that Colin has already qualified for the 50 km race in the World Athletics Championships in Moscow next August.

In response to the lack of funding, Colin Griffin issued the following statement......
"The 2013 International Carding Scheme grants were announced today by the Irish Sports Council. Despite achieving the criteria for International Class and submitting my application, Athletics Ireland did not forward my application to the Irish Sports Council.

I achieved the criteria for International Class category of an IAAF ‘A’ Standard (4.02.00) in May 2012 at the World Race Walking Cup in Saransk where I finished 15th in a time of 3.52.54. This performance, at a time when I was not Carded, in a standard of competition identical to the World Championships or Olympic Games; was on merit the best performance of my career to date and demonstrated significant progress. Unfortunately at the Olympic Games 11 weeks later while on course for a similar top 16 performance and a significant PB, I was disqualified after receiving my third red card at 38km.

The manner in which my application was dealt with has been unfair. There has been no provision for or avenue open to me to appeal against that decision made solely by the AAI Performance Director, something unprecedented for any athlete, and despite requests for an independent ruling on my application which were largely ignored. In this manner my rights have been infringed and I have not been accorded due process.

I am currently one of only 3 Irish athletes that have qualified for this summer’s World Championships where I have achieved AAI’s tougher (than IAAF) A Standard time for the 50km walk. Now my ability to prepare for these championships and continue my international athletics career at this level is severely compromised.

Colin Griffin"

Recent piece in Sportsmail
In another recent interview, he was quoted as saying.....“It’s unprecedented because in the past if you met the criteria your application always went to the ISC and if they rejected it you would have the chance to appeal and have your case heard before the final decision was made. Had the Sports Council received it, rejected it and I was given the chance to appeal then fair enough I would have accepted that. But it’s the way it was done and the fact that I had to fight this case internally within Athletics Ireland that I’m disappointed with. There’s no shortage of money there. There’s extra staff being appointed and there are so many officials who get generous expenses. I just don’t think it has been channeled through in the right way. Training camps that were previously supported up until 2011 were vital, and it was no coincidence that when those training camps were supported in 2010, I was able to get sufficient technical support and feedback and I suffered no disqualification in competitions that year. Then you’ve officials going away to competitions who aren’t directly part of the management team. That’s a drain on resources which are supposed to be limited.”

“The athletes in the category I feel I’m entitled to are being offered €12k plus additional support so there is no way I’m able to train at the level required with that amount. “Competing at the World Championships would be very difficult at the moment as I’d have to support myself now it would mean putting more emphasis on my work. I never mix up my living expenses and my training expenses. It’s a case of priorities – I’m 31 as well this year. If I was ten years younger I might get away with it but not at this stage of my life. There’s only so much time I can devote to this and allow it to consume me. I will have to make a decision whether I can compete internationally this season and prepare properly by trying to commit without the necessary funding to do that. I wouldn’t want to go to the World Championships and risk a repeat of any previous disappointing results due to not being prepared. It’s a very disappointing situation and one that could have been avoided if the simple things were done properly.”

Colin Griffin has represented Ireland at the Beijing and London Olympics. He also coached Laura Reynolds to a top 20 finish in the womens 20km walk in the London Olympics.


Gerard said...

Over 100 members of the artists and writers guild Aosdana, receive € 17,180 of taxpayers money each year, completely free of tax. They also get subsidized pension contributions and in addition get a € 40,000 tax free allowance. They receive the € 17,180 for blocks of five years at a time, there are no requirements in terms of output or quality of output. This is the reality of croneyism in this country. Talent counts for nothing, it is all down to Gombeen croneyism. Then look at how athletes are being treated.

Anonymous said...

Seems like a crazy situation. Also smells a lot of internal politics within AAI to the detriment of a guy that's improving as he gets older.
Another case of the Blazers (not just in Athletics) appearing to be more important in their own minds than the Athletes.