GB’s leading coaches graduate from UK Sport Elite Programme

Published 3 April 2019

Elite Coaching Course

Some of the biggest names in British coaching have this week graduated from the UK Sport Elite Programme.

Coaches including England Football Manager Gareth Southgate, British Swimming coach Mel Marshall and Para Athletics Head Coach at British Athletics Paula Dunn were part of a high profile group that undertook a rigorous three-year development programme from 2016-2019.

The Elite Programme, which aims to take high performance coaching in the UK to a world leading level, saw nine coaches across a variety of Olympic, Paralympic and non-Olympic sports provided with specialist expertise, technology and experiences to support their development.

The residentials have seen the coaches placed in challenging environments, including at a gathering in Salisbury in January 2019 where they were put through their paces at an army base by charitable organisation Serve On - who provide relief efforts to international communities during times of crisis.

The nine graduates are: Dave Alloway (GB Boxing), Simon Amor (Rugby Football Union), Steve Borthwick (Rugby Football Union), Paula Dunn (British Athletics), Barry Fudge (British Athletics), Mel Marshall (British Swimming), Mark Ratcliffe (British Canoeing), Peter Sheppard (GB Rowing Team) and Gareth Southgate (Football Association).

The group are the third cohort of participants to complete UK Sport’s Elite Programme. An inaugural group of nine, which included GB Boxing Performance Director Rob McCracken, graduated in 2016 while a second group of nine, that included England Cricket Coach Andy Flower, graduated in 2017.

UK Sport Chair Dame Katherine Grainger said: “Congratulations to this inspirational group of coaches who have supported and challenged each other across this incredible learning opportunity.

“I was privileged to speak with the group as part of the programme and I was hugely impressed with the passion, engagement and commitment I saw from them all.

“Coaches are the crucial backbone of our high-performance system and this group will continue to provide world class support and direction for their athletes, whilst using the knowledge they have shared and gained on the programme to keep making British coaching truly world leading.”

Gareth Southgate said: “It has been a fantastic experience to be part of the UK Sport Elite Programme.

“It has been a brilliant opportunity to build friendships with the other coaches and to share knowledge across the cohort.

“I am also the first person in football to be involved in this course so that is a real privilege.

“We have world leading coaches in our country who have won Olympic and Paralympic medals so it has been great to tap into that knowledge and I will continue to do so in the future.”

Mel Marshall said: “I have really enjoyed being part of the UK Sport Elite Programme and spending time with some of the best coaches in our country.

“It is always hugely beneficial to see what other sports and coaches are doing to achieve success and I look forward to staying in touch with this group of fantastic professionals.”

Paula Dunn said: “Being on the UK Sport Elite Programme has been a fantastic journey and it has been great to learn so much across the three years.

“I have worked with an engaging group of coaches and it has been hugely beneficial to network with each other as well as with world class experts from outside sport.

“I have taken many learnings from the experience, and have utilised these in my role as Para Athletics Head Coach”

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