Latest ECAP recruits ask 'what is elite?' at first workshop of 2013Subscribe
Grace Cullen 13 February 2013
Coaches got straight down to business at the first workshop of UK Sport’s 2012-2014 Elite Coaching Apprenticeship Programme (ECAP), exploring the challenging subject of what it means to be elite.
Coming together for their first full workshop of the two-year development programme, the 12 coaches, from a range of Olympic and Paralympic sports, met at Burleigh Court in Loughborough from 28-30 January.
Among the diverse group are short track speed skating Olympian Paul Worth, who has made the switch from athlete to coach, and Nina Venables, who coached Deb Criddle to three para-equestrian medals at London 2012.
Having been identified as coaches with the potential to reach the very top, the group will benefit from ‘on the job’ training, working alongside a Master Coach within their National Governing Body (NGB), complemented by a structured workshop programme.
On hand at the session in Loughborough was Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis’ coach Toni Minichiello who talked about his journey towards being elite, as well as encouraging discussions among the coaches on what ‘elite’ means to them.
British Equestrian coach Corinne Bracken, who is currently part of the 2011-2013 ECAP Cohort, was also in attendance and helped the group to understand what they can expect from the programme and gave her advice on how to make the most of the experience.
Speaking after the workshop, Great Britain Para-Cycling Team Endurance Coach Tom Stanton said: “Two key things stand out for me, firstly UK Sport’s commitment to the world class development of not just athletes, but of the coaches that help them on their journeys. This was evident through the quality and precision by which the sessions were selected, delivered and reviewed.
“Secondly I realised that I know nowhere near enough about myself as a coach – an exciting and terrifying thought that I cannot wait to explore further.”
Neasa Folan, GB Rowing Team Start Coach, also shared her thoughts: "Through novel and clever guises I have not only gained new insights into my learning style and how I coach and act with others, but I have been challenged, cajoled and cheered-on to leave my coaching comfort zone.
“I am looking forward to further workshops with interest, enthusiasm and a splash of trepidation, as I push and pull myself to an elite and respected standard of coaching!"
ECAP promotes a collaborative approach between the NGBs and UK Sport, providing coaches with the opportunity to hone the skills, knowledge and experiences to deliver results consistently within high performance sport.
UK Sport Coaching Officer Adam Greaves said: “The first workshop is always intense, but the coaches’ engagement and enthusiasm throughout the two days was great to see.
“I would now encourage the coaches to reflect on the sessions and consider how they are going to maximize their two year journey on ECAP.”
The next workshop will take place 28 February-1 March at Whittlebury Hall in Northamptonshire.
Sport - Apprentice Coach - Master Coach
British Bob Skelton - Chris Type - Andi Schmid
GB Canoeing (Sprint) - Steve Train - Mark Ratcliffe
British Cycling - Matt Winston - Dan Hunt
Disability Swimming - Rob Aubry - Billy Pye
British Diving - Tom Owens - Steve Gladding
Para-Cycling - Tom Stanton - Chris Furber
Para-Equestrian - Nina Venables - Michel Assouline
GB Rowing - Neasa Folan - Paul Reedy
Sailing - Jonny McGovern - Matt Howard
Short Track Speed Skating - Paul Worth - Nicky Gooch
Swimming - Andi Manley - Mark Perry
Wheelchair Tennis - Ash Smith - Karen Ross