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Athletics: Clubs give approval to new governing body

BRITISH CLUBS have voted overwhelmingly in favour of proposals for a new governing body 11 months after the British Athletic Federation went bankrupt.

Chris Chataway, chairman of a group which drafted the proposals, told a news conference yesterday that 52 per cent of all British clubs had taken part in a vote and 97 per cent had backed the plans. "This is a remarkable vote, not least because of the high proportion of votes that were registered." Chataway said.

"I am delighted by the overwhelming endorsement," David Moorcroft, the former chief executive of BAF, said. "This will enable the sport to move forward positively and put into action the plans which have been put forward by the sport itself. Moorcroft, a former world 5,000 metres record holder, took over as head of the BAF exactly a year ago only to find the federation heavily in debt.

On 14 October, he was forced to announce that the BAF had gone into the hands of interim managers and a new body called UK Athletics 98 was set up under Moorcroft to run the sport while plans for a permanent structure were put into place.

Proposals were considered by a consultative group, which included the former world 400m hurdles champion, Sally Gunnell, and the Olympic 400m silver medallist, Roger Black.

The new body, called Athletics UK, will come into operation from January next year.