This morning Dynamic Sports Academy shared a statement with the British American Football community, via social media. Following the reveal of the GB Lions Under 19’s Combine initiative, in partnership with the highly-successful Dynamic Sports Academy, there was immediate and significant backlash from the community.
Two particular areas of concern were the costs involved – initially £55 per attendee – and the involvement of DSA, a third-party organisation, in a National Team initiative.
In response to the community feedback, BAFA allocated additional funding to the scheme, dropping the costs to £5 per attendee, and appearing to strip the DSA-related elements out of the U19 trials scheme and stepping back from their partnership with the athlete support organisation in this instance.
This morning, a DSA Facebook account shared the following statement:
Dynamic Sports Academy Press Release
DSA would like to announce the facts about recent events concerning the GB U19 combines. We have been quiet to date to remain professional, and as we were awaiting confirmation from BAFA on our involvement moving forward, which we are still to receive a response on. However, we didn’t want any more time to pass with many misconceptions being taken as fact unfortunately
Firstly, we would like to highlight that DSA is a community club run by volunteers
We have been operating since 2007, training athletes onsite Mon/Wed/Fri 6-8pm (50 weeks a year), as well as working with athletes via our long-distance program. We also help athletes become student-athletes in the US. We’re very proud of the work we do and the thousands of athletes we have assisted over the years
GB U19 combine situation
DSA were approached by the GB U19 program and asked to undertake the following:
- Assisting with investigations of locations to host combines
- To host and manage the registration for the 4 events, including sending regular reports on monies collected through the system and registration numbers
- To manage pre-combine communications with attendee’s (a feature of the registration system)
- To provide 5-6 resources per event to capture player measurements during the registration process and run the combine stations
- Provide and transport combine measuring equipment (laser timing gates, vertec etc) to the events
- To plan the event schedules and manage the event timings on the day
- Type up all data captured and issue results to GB staff and athletes
- Send feedback to athletes on their results
- Talent ID research into methods for identifying future talent
- Promotion of the events
- Bringing DSA relationships/partners to the events where suitable
For this DSA were to get:
- £650 travel expenses in total to cover transport for all coaches for all 4 events (travel costs over this to be covered by DSA).
- 25% of the event fee to cover staffing (many staff had to get out of weekend work, arrange childcare, placate families for being away for 4 Saturdays in a row on top of the 150 sessions a year they already commit to), cover travel shortfalls, and the above tasks/activities – many of which are to be performed outside of the event days.
- “powered by DSA” included in the event titles
However, it was agreed that this % would be lowered if attendance was low to make sure that BAFA did not lose any money on the events
We would like to highlight that DSA are not involved in the GB selection process, only in the collation of data requested by the GB program, which GB coaches would use to assist their selection process
We are extremely pleased that BAFA have now allocated funding to the GB U19 program, which has now reduced the costs for attendees to ensure as many people as possible are involved. We care greatly about the footballing community and have dedicated large parts of our lives to that end
DSA was created to help athletes from all teams to boost the sport as a whole. Not only through S&C, but by creating well rounded athletes through nutrition, sport psychology, performance vision, injury management and more. These are the areas the GB U19 program discussed us supporting them on, allowing them to focus on football, while DSA focused on athlete development (physical and mental). We would provide learning materials to the athletes, send specialist coaches to GB events in the future to introduce/further educate them on key areas, and we hope to still do so
We hope this clarifies a lot of misconceptions, and we appreciate the support from those who know DSA and the staff who work tirelessly to support athletes from all over the UK.