Coaches complete first UK Sport Paralympic initiativeSubscribe
Grace Cullen 19 January 2012
This week the high performance coaches on UK Sport’s Paralympic Coach Development initiative (PCDi) met for the fourth and final workshop of their nine-month development programme.
The coaches, many of whom work with London 2012 medal potential athletes and sports, met at Beaumont House in Old Windsor on 17-18 January, to bring together the skills they have learnt so far, as well as sharing plans for their future development.
Launched in April 2011, the Paralympic-specific programme came about following a period of consultation with the sports in question, who had requested assistance in the area of development of the coaching workforce through Mission 2012. UK Sport has worked closely with the coaches over the past nine months, combining a series of four workshops alongside bespoke individual development plans.
Speaking about his PCDi experience, UK Athletics coach, Phil Peat, said: “The course was a tremendous experience and I was privileged to be nominated by UK Athletics. As a developing coach, the learning process continues to evolve.
“It was a pleasure to meet fellow coaches from other Paralympic sports and this helped facilitate friendships and provided mutual support throughout the course.”
While at Beaumont House, the coaches also heard from Steve Harris, Performance Manager of GB Para Canoeing, who graduated from UK Sport’s Elite Coach in 2009. Harris spoke about the highs and lows of his career, and the ways he has drawn on his Elite Coach experiences to continuously seek to improve his own performance as a coach.
Another of the coaches, Neil Robinson MBE, from Disability Table Tennis, who was recognised in the New Year’s Honours for his services to sport, said: “PCDi has had a significant impact on my coaching career. The process of moving from being an athlete to coach is not easy. PCDi has helped me to first look at myself, then other people and has assisted me in getting the best out of myself and others. It has given me the chance to meet and exchange ideas with coaches from other sports and establish ‘networks’.
“As well as opening my mind to development opportunities, I feel the programme has benefited me hugely and I am already a better coach. I would highly recommend any coach in a similar position to participate in such a development opportunity.”
UK Sport Coaching Officer and PDCi facilitator, Adam Greaves, said: “Although this was the final workshop, it is not foreseen that this is the end of the coaches’ development journey, but merely another milestone along the road.
“The coaches should be very proud of their achievements to this point and we hope they will take what they have learnt on PDCi to help inform their immediate and long-term development opportunities running into and post London 2012.”
The coaches present for the final session were: Matt Kenny, Neil Robinson (Disability Table Tennis), Tim Hazel, Neil Horsfall (Disability Archery), Paul Shaw, Justin Frishberg (Wheelchair Rugby), Garry Peel (Wheelchair Basketball), Phil Peat (UK Athletics), Andrea Zakor, Pasan Kularatne, Louise Minett (Disability Shooting).
Sinclair Thomas (Wheelchair Basketball), Geraint Richards (Wheelchair Tennis) were both unable to attend.