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ERIKSSON TO STEP DOWN FROM HEAD COACH POSITION

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Eriksson & Black

15 May 2013

British Athletics has confirmed that Head Coach Peter Eriksson will be leaving his post at the end of June, having asked to be released from his contract in order to return to Canada to be with his family. 

Eriksson led the Paralympic programme to a third place finish on the medal table during the 2012 Paralympic Games, and as Olympic Head Coach led the GB & NI team to a strong showing at the European Indoor Championships in March with an eight medal haul, including four gold.

Eriksson said: “Words cannot describe how disappointed I am to take this step.  There is no bigger job in athletics anywhere in the world, At present I have no plans, but accept that if I am to take any other job in sport it will be a step down'. 

"Athletics in Great Britain receives the best possible support through the National Lottery, and that, coupled with the performance structure here means it is every coach's dream to hold this position.

“However no job is more important than family and children, and personal circumstances mean that mine need me to be back in Canada.”

Eriksson will continue in his position as Head Coach for British Athletics until the end of June, leading the GB & NI team to the European Team Championships in Gateshead. Performance Director Neil Black will oversee Head Coach duties for the remainder of the summer and lead the GB & NI team at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow.

British Athletics Performance Director Neil Black said:

“This is a big disappointment but it could not have been foreseen six months ago, and Peter has been open with us on the personal challenges he faces.  

“Working with Peter we have put together a team of elite coaches leading each of the Event Groups based at the Institute and they will able to help me cover the Head Coach duties for the summer with minimal disruption. But for now we are looking forward to a strong team performance in Gateshead and I look forward to working alongside Peter towards this goal.”

CEO Niels de Vos said:

“This is very much about the human face of performance sport, it is easy to talk about what it means for us but this is a personal issue and whilst we would love for him to stay, we can only be supportive and wish him the best.

“He did a superb job as the Paralympic Head Coach, having joined us four years ago and built a strong team around him. The signs were there that he could make the same impact on our Olympic programme, and I know that he will want to sign off with a successful Team performance in Gateshead next month.

“Neil Black will ensure stability for the ongoing programme, and we will review the structure at the end of the season, but what is most important right now is we continue to focus on Moscow and the job in hand.”