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malcolm arnold to receive honorary degree

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Malcolm Arnold

26 June

Malcolm Arnold OBE, one of Britain’s most successful and respected athletics coaches, is to receive an honorary degree from the University of Bath next week.

Arnold will receive an honorary Doctor of Education from the University, where he has worked as a British Athletics coach for the last 15 years.

During that time athletes coached by Arnold have won 40 medals at Olympic Games, World Championships, Commonwealth Games and European Championships.

They include names that read like a ‘Who’s Who’ of some of the nation’s greatest athletes, including Colin Jackson, Jason Gardener and Dai Greene.

Arnold, who is currently Head Coach for the British Athletics Regional Performance Centre at the University, will receive the honorary degree at Bath Abbey on Wednesday 3 July at 12.30pm as part of the University’s summer degree graduation ceremonies.

“I’ve enjoyed working at the University of Bath. It’s privilege to receive an honorary degree from the University, which has been such a big part of my life over the last 15 years,” he said.
“We’ve seen some remarkable changes to the sports facilities at the University in that time and it’s now an outstanding training base,” he added.

Arnold’s career achievements are hugely impressive. He has coached at 12 summer Olympic Games – every one since Mexico City in 1968 – and his athletes have won 67 major championships medals to date, a haul that has included three Olympic and seven World Championship gold medals. Two of his athletes have held world records.

His coaching career took him to Africa in the 1960s as Director of Coaching in Uganda. In 1972 one of his charges, John Akii-Bua, won gold in the 400m hurdles at the Munich Olympics, setting a world record in the process.

Arnold returned to the UK later that year and was soon coaching the young Colin Jackson. In 20 years under Arnold’s guidance, Jackson won 10 Olympic or World Championship medals and in 1993 set a world record that stood for 13 years.

Jackson’s training partner, Mark McKoy of Canada, became Arnold’s second Olympic champion when he won gold in the 110m hurdles in Barcelona in 1992.

In the mid-1990s Arnold became Head Coach for British Athletics for four years, during which time he wrote the first business plan for National Lottery funding for athletics. He transferred to Bath at the start of 1998 and in 2004 another of his athletes, Jason Gardener, helped Great Britain win Olympic gold in the 4x100m relay in Athens.

Arnold’s impressive track record continues to this day – his athletes include reigning 400m hurdles world champion Dai Greene, as well as Eilidh Child, who won gold and silver at this year’s European Indoor Championships.  Five of his athletes competed at the London 2012 Olympics – Eilidh Child, Lawrence Clarke, Jack Green, Dai Greene and Andy Pozzi.

Dr Aki Salo, Senior Lecturer in Sport Biomechanics at the University’s Department for Health, will give the oratory for Malcolm Arnold before he receives his honorary degree.

Dr Salo, who has worked closely with Arnold and British Athletics providing support to sprint, hurdles and relay squads, said: "Malcolm's longevity in coaching is unparalleled and he has been involved in a total of 12 Olympic Games. He is one of the most successful, if not the most successful athletics coaches in Britain. This is naturally down to expertise and his ability to spot the talent and get the best out of his athletes.

"Malcolm's systematic, tireless and long-term approach, in which no corners are cut, provides inspiration and offers a great example of work ethic for younger generations in the current fast-moving world."