Elite Coaches graduate on opening night of Conference in ScotlandSubscribe
UK Sport 08 November 2010
UK Sport’s tenth World Class Performance Conference got underway at the Fairmont in St Andrews, Scotland, this evening. The three day Conference, themed ‘Courage’ this year, will provide the opportunity for high performance coaches, practitioners and leaders from Olympic and Paralympic sports to share experiences and best practice. This evening, the Conference has hosted the graduation of the final intake of UK Sport’s Elite Coach programme.
Since Elite Coach was launched in 2004, over 30 high performance coaches from 17 different sports have graduated from the programme, including World Heptathlon Champion Jessica Ennis’ coach, Toni Minichiello, and Beijing Olympic medallist David Davies’ coach, Kevin Renshaw.
This, the fourth group of Elite Coaches to graduate from the programme, are: Audrey Cooper (volleyball), Bobby Crutchley (hockey), Jason Lee (Hockey), Mark Wood (bob skeleton), Paul Green (taekwondo), Rhona Martin (curling), Rick Velati (triathlon). UK Sport Chair Baroness Sue Campbell presented each member of the cohort with their certificates.
Rick Velati, spoke on behalf of the Elite Coaches at the Conference, he said: “It has been a privilege to be on Elite Coach. It has changed all our lives to be better people, better coaches in our roles now, and better leaders in the future. Elite coach hasn’t been about us thinking we are elite and disjointed from our organisations. It has been about taking every opportunity to learn more about ourselves and each other in a residential forum where some exceptional people have come to share their knowledge, ideas and expertise with us”
On hearing of the graduation of the group, Minister for Sport, Hugh Robertson MP, said:“Good coaches are a key ingredient in elite sporting success and UK Sport’s Elite Coach scheme has been a vital part of delivering those coaches. I congratulate all the graduates on this year’s programme and wish them and their athletes the best of luck for the future.”
Just last week, the second group of coaches who will benefit from UK Sport’s new Elite Coaching Apprenticeship Programme, which is an evolution of the Elite Coach programme designed to meet the changing needs of the sports, was announced. They are Craig Keegan (Hockey), Emily Parker (Athletics), Hayley Ginn (Athletics), Jean-Paul Bell (Judo), Joanna Eley (Speed Skating), Clive Milkins (Equestrian), Chris Newton (Cycling), Mark Ratcliffe (Canoe Slalom), Paul Darby-Dowman (Canoe Sprint), Nathan Hilton (Swimming), Jon Rudd (Swimming) and Jenny Leeming (Diving).
The opening night of the Conference concluded with a keynote address from Scottish athletics coach Frank Dick, who coached Olympic decathlon champion Daley Thompson.
Over 300 delegates, including coaches, performance directors and other members of world class support teams from summer and winter Olympic and Paralympic sports, are in attendance for the UK Sport convened Conference. The aim of the event is to reflect on and learn from collective experiences of the sporting year across different sports and environments, in order to prepare for the challenges ahead.