British sports given coaching boost

Published 26 April 2001

KEY FIGURES from UK governing bodies of sport were brought together this week at a seminar organised by the UK Sports Institute (UKSI). The aim of the day was to help revolutionise their approach to sporting success.

The event combined the launch of the UKSI World Class Coaching Programme with the unveiling of a new password-protected website – www.UKSI.net - designed specifically for members of the elite sports community.

John O’Keeffe, former Group Vice-President at Procter and Gamble, facilitated the workshop, entitled 'Business beyond the box.’ He challenged Performance Directors from across British sport to move from focusing on small changes to concentrate on genuine breakthroughs that impact on performance.

Triathlon’s Graeme Maw commented: "It grabbed my attention and is the best management seminar I have ever been to. We were not only given a new concept, but also the tools that go with it. It made me completely re-evaluate how I will approach the next four years. Rather than small incremental steps I will be looking to build a whole new programme but at a higher level."

Modern Pentathlon’s Performance Director - Jan Bartu - described the event as "a day well spent," adding: "I personally learnt some important management tools that will cause me to review some of my present ideas."

Meanwhile Peter Keen, Performance Director for Cycling, remarked that: "Any environment that challenges you to think outside the box is a good one."

FRANK DICK – UKSI Board member and former head coach for Athletics - introduced the new World Class Coaching Programme, describing it as an opportunity to turn "one person’s experience into a learning process" for everyone involved in coaching in the UK. "This is one of the most exciting periods for British coaching and performers in history," he added.

Another to applaud the launch of the new programme was Peter Fortune, coach to Australian Olympic Gold medallist Cathy Freeman. "The UKSI understands that success will come from being at the cutting edge in all aspects of sport, and coaching is no exception. They are offering you the chance to be part of what should be a great programme and I believe it is an opportunity that should not be missed."

Tristan Collins, Dennis Edwards and team leader Reg Hatch - former Olympic Australian and American sprint kayak head coach - will deliver the coaching programme. It will be individual to each World Class coach, tailored to their sport’s specific needs and aimed at providing a sustainable system to support World Class athletes and coaches. The programme will be delivered in conjunction with the British Olympic Association and Sports Coach UK.

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