Britain's 2012 medal winners thank coaches for golden yearSubscribe
Jessica Whitehorn / Grace Cullen 27 November 2012
As Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic coaches and back up staff get down to business at UK Sport’s World Class Performance Conference today, Team GB and ParalympicsGB medallists have sent them messages of thanks for all their support.
Double Paralympic Athletics Champion Hannah Cockroft, who delivered her message in person at last night’s celebration dinner, said: “I just want to thank my personal coach Peter Eriksson and all the staff at UKA, including Paula Dunn, Mike Cavendish, all the physios, psychologists, nutritionists, doctors and everyone who got me to 2012. You made my dream come true and I could not have done it on my own so thank you.”
Olympic Heptathlon Champion Jessica Ennis, whose coach Toni Minichiello won UK Coach of the Year at last week's UK Coaching Awards 2012, said: “Without a world class coach, I don’t think I’d be here today, as an Olympic champion. I can train and push myself, but you need that person on the side-line to say ‘come on you can do another run’. Having a world class coach has helped me push on through junior to senior level and keep developing as an athlete, keep injury free as far as possible and win medals at major championships.
“To my coach I’d say, thank you for all the support you’ve given me over the years and dedicating your time to helping me achieve my dreams.”
Olympic Super Heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua said: “The Games was a great experience. I didn’t just leave the Village as Olympic champion, I left as a new man. I want to thank the support staff, my whole team and all of the other boxers.”
Para-Dressage Double Gold Medallist Natasha Baker said: “I couldn’t have done it without my support team; each and every person has such a significant role to play and is a huge part of my success. I ride in an arena for about four and a half minutes but getting to that stage and those four and a half minutes wouldn’t happen without my fantastic team. The World Class Performance programme gives us access to the best support team in terms of vets, psychologists, and I think that’s what gives us the winning edge.”
Olympic Rowing Gold Medallist Katherine Grainger said: “To all the British Rowing coaches, support staff and everyone behind the scenes who made this summer so memorable and so special, the success wouldn’t be anywhere near what it was without you. It’s been a phenomenal ride, and one that we’ll never forget. It’s thanks to you that our dreams came true. The words can’t say enough, but they are heartfelt, and two words sum it up - thank you.”
Paralympic Sailing Gold Medallist Helena Lucas said: “We have all of the technology and the rest of the world are just trying to catch us up and trying to look at what we’re doing. The RYA have just done a fantastic job with the coaching and support staff that always stays that one step ahead, which is pretty hard to do when you’ve got everybody else chomping at the bit.”
Gymnastics Olympic Bronze Medallist Beth Tweddle, on coach Amanda Reddin, said: “Amanda has been involved in many Games very successfully, but to take three gymnasts to the London Games is an achievement many people couldn’t even dream of and shows what a brilliant coach she is. As a partnership we won everything, Worlds, Europeans, every title apart from that medal and I didn’t want her ever to be thought of as the best coach to never to win an Olympic medal so it was right for her that we won the Olympic bronze, I owe everything in my career to Amanda.”
Wheelchair Tennis Bronze Medallist Jordanne Whiley said: “A coach is always there for you, to support you, and give you tips. My coach has been really important to me, he’s brought me on from a very young age, and we have a close relationship off the court as well. I listen to him and he listens to me.”
Four time Olympic Sailing Gold Medallist Ben Ainslie said: “The people that are there, making the drinks in the morning; the physios; nutritionists; psychologists; people helping with the logistics, the planning, the office work, all the way through to the sailors; ultimately none of it would happen without the individuals putting effort in, and that’s the way it is. As athletes we’re there representing the team but we’re also there representing all those people who have put in all those hours and effort to get us there to the start line and hopefully in a position to win.”
Motivated by an evening of celebration and messages of gratitude from their athletes, delegates will go through a journey on the theme of ‘Calibration’ at this year’s Conference, kicking off this morning with the sub theme of ‘Self’, which will be explored by lead speaker Caroline McHugh. Caroline is the founder of IDOLOGY, a movement dedicated to helping individuals and organisations be original versions of themselves, not pale imitations of each other.