A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE NATIONAL INDOOR ATHLETICS CENTRE (NIAC), CARDIFF: A STAKEHOLDER’S PERSPECTIVE
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The research focussed on an identification and critical analysis of factors affecting the balance between the differing needs of Welsh Athletics and those of Cardiff Metropolitan University (CMU), formerly University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC), in the use and operation of the National Indoor Athletics Centre (NIAC). The NIAC is a specialist sports facility, built to support and enhance the performance of elite and developing athletes (UWICa, 2012); the elite athlete has been identified as a key stakeholder. The critical analysis is underpinned by strategic theory. McAlpine et al. (1998) identified the need for more indoor specialist athletic facilities and De Bosscher et al. (2006) stated that having access to good facilities is one factor that can contribute to an athlete’s success. However Green and Houlihan (2005) concluded that elite sport development and achievement, club development and mass participation are incompatible aims within present policy frameworks because there is reduced scope for revenue due to volume of participants. Government policy such as ‘Healthier Lives, Healthy People’ (DOH, 2010) emphasises mass participation as opposed to raising performances. Consequently competing forces raise the need for re-evaluation of strategy; De Bosscher et al. (1996) stated that a crucial element missing from studies has been the involvement of the key stakeholders; athletes and coaches. The methodology used is qualitative, semi-structured interviews. Key stakeholders with different roles and responsibilities were interviewed for their perspective on common issues. Themes emerged around athletes having inconsistent access to facilities, the need for revenue generation, availability of coaches and balancing needs of the university and Welsh Athletics. This research highlighted the significance of this unique facility in attracting students and athletes to CMU and the need to compromise and co-ordinate finite resources. A model was developed to demonstrate driving forces and outcomes and applied to a management model. Recommendations included improving communication, consultation, programming and attracting coaches. Future research includes considering the perspective of other key stakeholders, replication on a larger scale and comparative study of a similar facility.
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