UK Sport launches Elite Coach

Published 13 October 2004

Nine of the nation’s most promising coaches came together last week at the start of a journey aimed at placing them on a fast track to coaching excellence.

The scheme will see tailor made programmes developed for each of the nine coaches, which will not only allow them to develop their technical skills by working with and observing the best in action, but also to develop the leadership skills which are the hallmark of the most successful operators, not just from the world of sport, but from the world of business, industry and the arts.

This groundbreaking project is the brainchild of UK Sport, the nation’s elite sport agency, and is aimed at ensuring that a new generation of British coaches will be available to pick up the baton in the lead-up to Beijing in 2008 and potentially, London in 2012.

Just making the starting line for the three year programme was an achievement in itself, as candidates – who had to be nominated by their governing bodies – underwent a rigorous selection process, devised with UK Sport by human resource consultancy Development Dimensions International.

"As the name suggests, our intention is to take some of the most promising coaches that British sport has to offer and to expose them to the best practitioners from the sport sector and beyond - wherever they happen to be in the world", said Liz Nicholl, UK Sport’s Chief Executive. "When you add that to the ability for this group to share their experiences with one another, you have a powerful mix that will result in a new breed of elite coach capable of inspiring our athletes to new heights."

The 2004 successful elite coaches are:

  • John Amos - Weightlifting
  • Tim Foster - Rowing
  • Maggie Jackson – Netball
  • Mike McFarlane – Athletics
  • Graeme Randall – Judo
  • Paul Ratcliffe – Canoeing
  • Kevin Renshaw – Swimming
  • Adam Sotheran – Diving
  • Nick Strange - Rowing

The group spent last week together and underwent a series of challenging sessions with figures such as mountaineer Joe Simpson, famous for his experiences captured in the book 'Touching the Void’ and Aussie Hockey Coach, Ric Charlesworth, whose 'Hockeyroos’ remained number one in the world during his 8 years at the helm of the sport.

Time was also spent putting the finishing touches to individual development programmes which will see members of the group undertake anything from international exchange programmes with the world’s most successful sports, to business placements with bluechip companies and potentially the arts through Cirque du Soleil.

"The driving theme behind this new approach to coach development is that our elite coaches will always interface with the best in the world in their chosen field. In their concluding session, the group declared that their aim was to be the best that they could be, because the talent of our elite athletes demands it", added Nicholl.

UK Sport hopes that the £500,000 per year programme will produce 60 elite British coaches by 2012.

Funding Partners
  • DCMS
  • TNL partners
Official Partners
  • BAES logo
  • BUPA
  • IHG logo
Strategic Partners
  • British Olympic Association
  • Paralympics GB
  • Sport England
  • Sport Northern Ireland
  • Sport Wales
  • Sport Scotland