Mark Ratcliffe - GB Canoeing - Podium Canoe Slalom
Mark Ratcliffe has been employed as a full time coach since November 2013 with the British Canoeing Olympic Programme, this followed an athlete paddling career and time pursuing personal and educational goals.
Mark pursued a number of passions and interests throughout his teens and twenties. He sought challenges with excitement and risk, which drew him to both canoeing and rock climbing at a high level. Mark ultimately reached top 10 UK ranking in slalom and red pointed French 8b in climbing and enjoyed travelling extensively to places to experience both.
Mark’s main other passion has been fine art, specialising in painting and drawing and going on to achieve a 2:1 BA from Manchester Metropolitan University in 1998. Despite being natural shy when he was younger, Mark committed to a career in teaching art, craft and design. He stated that looking back on this, the experience pushed him to develop as a skilled communicator, he now sees this as perhaps the achievement he is most proud of.
Mark’s coaching career began in November 2003 as National Junior Coach. He had a strong eye and years of knowledge in the sport but remember’s it now as a steep learning curve. His level of responsibility grew and in 2006 was successful in moving up to the role of Development Programme Head Coach.
In 2012 Mark achieved a long held ambition to join the Podium Programme, moving to Lee Valley from Nottingham to have the opportunity to coach at Senior level. Through the cycle to date Mark has helped athletes to achieve some fantastic performances including Fiona Pennie winning the Senior K1W European title in 2013 and Senior World Championship Silver in 2014, and Joe Clark winning a Silver medal in Ausberg WC 2014. This was the first GBR Kayak men’s medal in the class since 2009 and made the more special for the time he had spent coaching Joe over the years.
Click here for more information on UK Sport’s Elite Coaching Apprenticeship Programme.
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