All 12 coaches, spanning nine Olympic sports, were in attendance at the first workshop of UK Sport’s 2011-13 Elite Coaching Apprenticeship Programme (ECAP).
Burleigh Court in Loughborough welcomed the ECAP cohort from 22-24 November, providing the opportunity for the apprentice coaches to start building relationships and understand what will be expected of them over the next two years.
The group heard from Jurg Gotz, Head Coach (Slalom) at the British Canoe Union, who shared his experiences from over two decades in the profession, and questioned the group about what it takes to make it at an elite level.
Great Britain Hockey’s Craig Parnham, who is part of the graduating 2010-11 ECAP, also spoke to the coaches and offered his insights about the challenges and experiences he has faced whilst being on the programme.
The ECAP workshop
One of the coaches, Corinne Bracken, from British Equestrian, felt she had learnt some important lessons over the two days, she said: “The trust built between all of us in a very quick space of time led to some excellent and challenging discussions. I was inspired listening to Craig Parnham share his experiences and this increased the hunger and excitement for the journey we are about to go on.
“I have already reflected on the activities we completed and put some of these in to practice in my day-to-day coaching.”
ECAP is a two year initiative which aims to accelerate the development of coaches already within the High Performance System, to enable them to have an enhanced impact in the short term, but also to become the elite coaches of the future.
Another of the 2011-13 cohort, Richard Blackshaw from British Swimming, said: “The first workshop has been such a refreshing experience. Being involved in interactive and challenging sessions with both experts in the appropriate field and other like-minded coaches was tailored perfectly to my learning style.
“I am certain this process will develop my coaching ability, the athletes I work with and the programme I lead.”
The coaches will now spend time back at their sport working with their Master Coach and Mentor to develop their Performance Profile and Development Plan, which will aid their individual pathway over the next two years, in time for the second workshop in February.
UK Sport Coaching Team Co-ordinator, Sarah Craven, who leads ECAP, said: “The workshop has been a great success, the two days were fairly intensive and credit must be given to the coaches for the level of engagement and enthusiasm they maintained throughout.
“The feedback as the coaches left was extremely positive, with a real motivation to go away and begin to reflect on themselves as coaches and how they can maximise the opportunity ECAP presents.”
A full list of Apprentice coaches, along with their respective Master Coach and Mentor, is detailed below.
Apprentice (sport) - Master Coach, Mentor
Peter Jeffrey (Badminton) – Kenneth Jonassen, TBC
Craig Morris (Canoe Slalom) – Jurg Gotz, Alan Olive
Jon Norfolk (British Cycling) – Iain Dyer, Shane Sutton
Damian Ball (Diving) – Bill Clark, Julian Bellan
Corinne Bracken (Equestrian) – Di Lampard, Yogi Breisner
Barry Collie (Gymnastics) – Eddie Van Hoof, Dennis Edwards
Nick Ruddock (Gymnastics) – Carol-Angela Orchard, Dennis Edwards
Paul Stannard (GB Rowing) – Darren Whiter, TBC
Tom Dyson (GB Rowing) - Robin Williams, TBC
Melanie Marshall (Swimming) – Dennis Pursley, Mark Perry
Richard Blackshaw (Swimming) – Sean Kelly, Mark Perry
Julie Hollman (UK Athletics) – Dan Pfaff, TBC