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Building a better coaching environment
20 July 2009

For the first time ever, a women-only athletics coaching conference will take place in the UK next week. It is also believed to the first of its kind across all sports in Britain.

The one-day event is being hosted by UKA, in conjunction with England Athletics will take place on Saturday 25th July at the Croydon Park Hotel on the morning of the Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace.

The event will unite some of the most high profile and successful female coaches in the sport for a discussion on how to build a better environment for women in coaching.

The presenters include leading female voices such as Stephanie Hightower, Chairman & President of USA Track and Field, Terry Crawford, Director of Track and Field at California Polytechnic State University, Amy Deem, Director of Track and Field at University of Miami and former World Champion-turned successful British coach Liz McColgan.

Hightower is one of the most senior figures in one of the sport’s most senior governing bodies, she is an eight time American champion in the sprint hurdles and was selected for the 1980 Olympics before the USA’s boycott of the Moscow Games.

Crawford was the Head Coach for the USA women’s team at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. Deem is one of USA’s most revered coaches having guided USA’s Lauryn Williams to World Championship 100m gold and Olympic 100m silver and Bahamas’ Debbie Ferguson to Commonwealth 100m and 200m gold and Olympic 200m bronze.

McColgan is one of the UK’s most successful long distance runners, having won World 10,000m gold and also having triumphed in both the London and New York Marathons. She has successfully turned her hand to coaching, including GB & NI internationals Colin McCourt and Morag MacLarty within her training group.

Male coach Brooks Johnson, the pioneer of USA Track and Field’s Women’s Initiative, will also offer an invaluable perspective on the subject matter.

Kevin Tyler, UKA’s Strategic Head of Coaching and Development said: “One of the great assets of athletics is its diversity. We need to do everything we can to encourage and maintain the sport’s broad appeal. Half our participation base is female and so it’s important that the coaching community reflects this.

“Quite simply, this conference is the right thing to do. We need to reach out to all coaches and engage with them so the sport is something they truly feel a part of. ”

The conference is exclusively for female coaches and is free to attend. All attendees will receive a complimentary ticket to the Aviva London Grand Prix, which will take place in the afternoon.

For booking information, contact Sharon Morris on smorris@uka.org.uk or +44 (0) 121 713 8465