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Race Walking


21 April 2009

Dr Andi Drake has been appointed as the Carnegie Director of Race Walking at Leeds Metropolitan University. The role - which is being supported by UKA - also means that the Yorkshire establishment is now designated as the National Race Walk Centre.

Dr Drake - who officially took up the post this month – is a UKA Level 4 Performance Coach in Race Walking and a UKA Level 3 Performance Coach in Marathon and Distance Running.

He has a wealth of academic and practical experience of the discipline, including holding a related PhD on elite performance race walking, acting as personal coach to athletes who have competed at Olympic, World and Commonwealth level and 18 years competing for GB & NI including at the European Championships and Commonwealth Games.

The role will encompass the following objectives:

* Providing coaching support - either directly or via a personal coach - to race walkers on the UKA World Class Performance Programme
* Provide coach mentoring to designated coaches in agreement with England Athletics and UKA
* Provide support to England Athletics and UKA for technical templates and development of coaching in race walking
* Provide expert input to GB & NI selection policies and team selection
* To manage and organise – in association with UKA – a future training programme for nominated race walking athletes
* Working within the Carnegie Centre for Sport Performance & Well Being delivering sport science support

Dr Andi Drake said: “I am delighted to be taking up this position and appreciate the foresight of Leeds Metropolitan University and UKA in giving race walking a permanent centre in the UK. We have some very exciting talent coming though in race walking in the UK, both in terms of athletes and coaches.

“We have a strong foundation in place and I look forward to developing race walking in the lead up to 2012 and building a legacy to last beyond the London Olympic Games.”

Malcolm Brown, Director of Sport at Leeds Metropolitan University added: “We are delighted to welcome UK Athletics and Dr. Andi Drake to the University.  Our commitment to coaching is significant and Andi is a fine coach with an international reputation.  He joins Mick Hill, our Director of Athletics, in building upon the Carnegie heritage in the global sport of track and field. 

“Andi will be responsible for developing the sport further within the University and nationally in partnership with UK Athletics and we are grateful to the governing body in showing confidence in us. 

“As the home of the UK Centre for Coaching Excellence we see this as a development of our critical mass of talented coaches on campus.  Andi's academic credentials in sports science will strengthen our expertise in the understanding of endurance events and our research profile."