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UKA's workshop to help coaches at all levels

25 November 2009

UKA’s innovative coaching department engaged with Scottish and Northern Irish sprints and hurdles coaches at the recent Spar Sprints Workshop, held in Belfast and Edinburgh on 22 and 23 November, which has been hailed as a huge success.

Attendees were treated to a day of challenging debate with UKA Strategic Head of Coaching and Development Kevin Tyler and UKA Coaching Professional Development Manager Tom Crick, who delivered a range of cutting edge content including a first look at the UKA technical sprints templates for acceleration mechanics, which incorporated before and after video footage of both elite and development athletes in training.

Contrary to traditional courses that may outline an athlete’s path to greatness, Crick and Tyler integrated the scientific principles behind every training decision made by a coach and also emphasised the importance of clearly defining training terminology.

The workshop was well received by the coaches in attendance and it is expected that the pair will return to present again in the New Year due to popular demand.

Bill Walker, coach to Scottish 100m champion Louise Dickson and Lauren Peffers, silver medallist over 400m and 800m at this summer's Deaflympics, said: "It was brilliant to come away from the Spar Sprints Course on Sunday with the feeling of being stimulated and having learnt a few new 'tricks of the trade' even after 50 years of coaching.

“I am convinced more of this type of course will get Scottish athletes back to level we should be at. Investment in coaches will have a long term gain."

Brian Whittle, a former Olympian and Scottish international 400/800m runner who is now a coach commented:

"Kevin Tyler and Tom Crick certainly engaged the coaches present with a well thought out and well presented seminar. The level of discussion and interaction at the event was exactly what is needed on an ongoing capacity.

“The intimation that Scotland has the athletes, coaches and know-how to deliver world class performances was spot-on. Those who couldn't make the day missed an excellent day's presentation and discussion. Let's hope we get further opportunities to develop these discussions."

In Northern Ireland Paul McKee, bronze medalist at the 2003 World Indoors over 400m and sprints coach on ANI Regional Development Squads commented that:

“It was good to challenge the traditional ways of planning and the presentation was certainly food for thought. It was great to see so many Northern Ireland coaches here.”