Monday, November 12, 2007

2012 Cogs Slipping Fast

Maybe Clint could sort out UK Sport

Last year we we blogged SS-Totenkopf Standarte UKSport's meisterplan to conquer the world in 2012. For the trifling sum of £773,199,000, they promised to breed an elite cadre of Olympic superathletes who would deliver certain victory. Well, fourth place in the medals table, anyway. And they were able to be precise because they'd developed "a sophisticated investment model to determine the level of additional funding is logical, measurable, and scalable."

The whole thing was plainly ludicrous, and was shredded by the Public Accounts Committee. They highlighted the dismal medal return on previous such "investments".

Needless to say, the plan is going ahead anyway. At a cost to taxpayers of £500m.

There isn't a cat's chance it will work, so the British Olympic Association launched its own competing, and conflicting, £20m meisterplan.

The BOA's plan is headed by failed soccer coach Sir Clive Woodward, who it's said has already seen quite a few of the Olympic sports on telly. He will personally take our 25 top medal hopefuls under his own wing and turn them into winners.

Well, he won't actually take them under his own wing as such, but he has hired ten of his old mates from rugby and elsewhere as coaches and specialists.

One coach for each 2.5 Olympic hopefuls?

Er, no. The genius master-stroke is for each of the 25 athletes to be coached by all ten coaches at once. Over the internet.

Woodward describes his coaches as "cogs", and says their role is to look into every detail that might help the individual and her regular coach improve. In things like wellness, sensory motor skills, visual performance, and kinesiology.

Kind of idea.

Oh, and everyone has to watch A Fistful of Dollars as often as possible.

So what about the obvious conflict between these cogs and the numerous performance directors already working for the opposing £500m SS UKSport Mission 2012 programme?

BOA chairman Lord Moynihan says there's no problem: "Any concerns are historical. We have a clear agreed vision on the best way to help the athlete."

A clear agreed vision. But have they told Woodward? Describing the fourth place medals target as "demanding", he will only say:

"If we all work together we can have a fantastic Olympic Games. We can only throw the kitchen sink at it but I believe we have got a great chance."

Translation- there is no clear agreed vision; just a huge kitchen sink being chucked around by a milling throng of tax-funded blazers.

And that's without even considering the poor bemused athletes themselves, assaulted on all sides by sports bureaucrats ticking boxes and engaging with them to somehow spin gold.

You know, my mule is feelin' real bad.

Y'see, he got all riled up when they said he had to pay for this rubbish out of his taxes.

Now if they apologised, like I know they're going to, I might convince him they didn't really mean it...

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