UK Sport’s World Class Coaching Conference drew to a close at the Belfry in Warwickshire today. The conference, themed ‘Winning Margins’, has provided the opportunity for delegates to learn from, debate with and discuss the experiences of world leading coaches and practitioners. In addition, the conference has also hosted the graduation of the 2005 intake of UK Sport’s Elite Coach programme.
The November edition of the UK Sport Podcast is now available to download and features interviews with a small selection of those at the Belfry, including 2005 graduates Chris Boardman and Nigel Redman.
UK Sport’s Elite Coach programme is a three year course for coaches who have the potential to shape the success of Britain’s best athletes, to accelerate their professional development. Coaches are nominated to take part in the programme by their national governing body and receive bespoke individual development opportunities as well as group workshops from some of the most successful individuals from the world of sport, business and the arts.
This, the second group of Elite Coaches to graduate from the programme, are Ian Barker (sailing), Chris Boardman (cycling), Karen Brown (hockey), Steve Gladding (diving), Kate Howey (judo), Ciaran O’Brien (swimming), Nigel Redman (rugby union), Dan Salcedo (triathlon).
On presenting the Elite Coach class of 2008 with their certificates, Jurgen Grobler, Head Coach to the victorious men’s four in Beijing as well as the gold medal winning British boats from the previous four Olympic Games, said:
“It is fantastic to see new faces each year at the World Class Coaching Conference as more and more young British coaches join the high performance system.
“I congratulate this Elite Coach group on their achievement. Having attended five Olympic Games as part of Team GB, I can tell you it is getting better every year and now we look forward to London 2012.
“There will be a lot of pressure in the build up to the London Games on British coaches as well as our athletes, but we can all prepare for this pressure and strive for even better performances by making the most of these opportunities to learn from each other.”
Nigel Redman, now Elite Coach Development Manager at the Rugby Football Union, spoke on behalf of the Elite Coaches:
“I would like to thank UK Sport on behalf of the group for the opportunity to take part in the Elite Coach programme. We have all learnt from each other, as well as many experts in their field, how to be better leaders and communicators but, most importantly, we are better people and coaches as a result of the experience.”
The second half of the conference concluded with more insightful presentations and workshops from the likes of Dr Steve Peters, the psychiatrist who has been instrumental in the recent successes of British Cycling, and Dr Aki Hinsta, a team physician who has worked with some of the worlds best athletes, from Formula One drivers to Olympic Champions.
In his closing address to the conference, Peter Keen, UK Sport's Head of Performance, said: "The World Class Coaching Conference is now eight years old and continues to go from strength to strength. This year I have found the atmosphere tremendous and the speakers outstanding. I am sure we will all take something from the last four days that will inflence our thinking and work for the better."
Some of Britain's Olympic and Paralympic medallists have also been praising their coaches this week and recognising the role they played in their success. Click here to read a selection of these tributes.
Over 400 delegates, including coaches, performance directors and other members of world class support teams from summer and winter Olympic and Paralympic as well as some professional sports, have attended the UK Sport convened four day 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.