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UK Athletics

Year of the Coach

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Jenny Meadows and Trevor Painter


19 March 2010

Following Jenny Meadow’s second British 800m indoor record within a month when finishing runner-up in the IAAF World Indoor Championships, her coach Trevor Painter has praised the new coaching structure put in place since the arrival of UKA’s Strategic head of Coaching and Development Kevin Tyler, and admitted that the support systems now in place for coaches would have benefited him immensely when he started out with Meadows ten years ago.

“Jenny and I started working together in 2000 and we’ve been fine tuning her development since then,” explained Painter, who admits that as soon as he knew that Meadows was going to be an 800m runner he tried to learn as much as he possibly could in the event in order to coach her to the level to which she aspired.”Her transition to an 800m specialist was a long term development process which involved a lot of hard work and commitment from both sides.”

“If I look at where I was six years ago and how much I had to learn, I’d have really benefited from the knowledge and information now available to coaches. It’s going to be a lot easier for a coach in my situation today compared to back then thanks to the resources now available such as the uCoach website and the mentoring schemes in place. ”

“It’s not going to happen overnight,” he continued, “but resources such as uCoach weren’t around when I started out and I had to do all of my own learning. If there’s another Trevor Painter starting out in the sport the support on offer is now fantastic. Hopefully that can lead to more top quality coaches getting involved and progressing within the sport which as a result should see us produce even more quality athletes.”

Earlier this year, Tyler unveiled 2010 as Year of the Coach with a view to celebrating, recognising and communicating to and about athletics coaches in the UK to highlight their expertise and hard work to bring success to athletes across the country.

Throughout 2010, coaching will be brought to the forefront of all activity and the profile of athletes will be dovetailed alongside the coaches who have helped them achieve their performance goals to ensure that come 2012 the athlete coach pairing is a natural part of the knowledge and storyline of our sport.

UKA’s commitment to coaching has been already been supported in recent months with the launch of the dedicated coaching resource website uCoach and a restructured coach education process so that every coach has the opportunity to develop and grow their knowledge base. Updated details are now available within the ‘Coach Education and Pathway’ section on the uCoach website:

Coach of the Month awards – primarily recognition of the work of an accredited coach at any level through a featured-based coach interview on uCoach - will be published to coincide with the conclusion of the winter season from March, while at development level and supporting the athlete coach pairing philosophy, a Futures Programme athlete interview will also be released each month.

Also supporting the Year of the Coach programme of work, coaches will be encouraged to showcase their own coaching practice through submission of video footage to uCoach. The UKA coaching team will select the overall best example of coach education media and the winner will receive high quality camera equipment to meet their coaching needs. Other prizes will be available for profiled coaches throughout the year and details will be confirmed in a separate announcement in due course.

And in recognising the skills within the coaching fraternity, UKA will work alongside the Home Country Athletics Federations to highlight, reward and further develop coaching ability through the year.

“This year we will seek to recognise and reward excellence in coaching on a monthly basis, further the opportunities for developing coaches to make contact with world class coaches here in the UK, promote our top coaching talent in the eyes of European and World athletics, and support a world class coaching event here in the UK in the Autumn,” says Tyler of the focused approach in 2010.

Further information will be available on the uCoach www.uka.org.uk/coaching and  UKA websites www.uka.org.uk and dedicated coaching newsletters will be published on a bi-monthly basis to support and further promote all of the activity taking place within the UKA coaching programme.