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Coach of the Year Jared Deacon with Darren Campbell and Nick Hyde (Managing Director Heidsieck & Co Monopole Champagne in the UK)
Previous winner of Coach of the Year Jared Deacon


03 November 2009

Former European and Commonwealth Gold medallist, Jared Deacon talks about his new role and his part in the future of coaching.

As the newly appointed Development Coach for Sprints and Hurdles, based at Loughborough National Performance Centre, it’s an exciting time for me personally.

This week sees the launch of the new Coaching strategy by UKA and it is great to be part of the new set up with the 1,000 days countdown to London 2012 on Saturday. It is a key time for coaching and I have noticed a fresh outlook from Charles Van Commenee, Peter Eriksson and Kevin Tyler moving UKA forwards.

Having gone through the coach education system up to UKA Level 4 over the past few years, I also completed a Masters degree in Sport and Exercise Science at Teesside University, which has helped my professional development as a coach.

My volunteer work as a coach at Gateshead stadium, led to some international success with Victoria Barr, Niall Flannery and Richard Kilty, which was very rewarding. Victoria Barr started working with me, as she moved up to running 400m and progressed to being selected for the 2007 World Championships within 12 months. She is now based at Lee Valley Performance Centre with Ayo Falola.

Niall Flannery is now part of the Original Source Heroes programme; he made the European Juniors this year and just missed out on a medal. Niall has now moved to Loughborough to train with Nick Dakin, but I will still have an input into his training, now I’m based here.

In terms of Coach Development, a key learning for me was working alongside Tony Hadley, as Chair of the Sprints Event Group a few years ago. We worked on a series of SPAR Sprints squads during the winter and I learnt a lot as a coach. The importance of learning and developing as a coach is an ethos that Kevin Tyler is focussing on, from my experience mentoring and development opportunities are crucial.

My paid work until now has been as a Strength and Conditioning Coach for the EIS, a full time position at Gateshead Stadium. I balanced this role with my coaching on a volunteer basis. So, it’s a great opportunity for me now to be employed as a full-time coach, developing athletes who are then ready to move up to the Performance levels required.

It was a difficult decision to relocate from the North East, where I have been based all my life. Reflecting on my days as an athlete, the sport has certainly moved on. There is a renewed focus on coaches and coaching. Looking back to when I retired in 2005, the coaching structure is more professional and so much more time and attention is devoted to athletes and coaches.

It’s an exciting time for the sport and a unique opportunity for all coaches to be part of this key build up to 2012 and beyond.