5th December 2013


05 December 2013

British Athletics Performance Director Neil Black today announced the first of three key appointments within the new Olympic Performance Programme as he completes his restructure of the team that will prepare British Athletics for the 2016 Rio Games under his leadership.

In the first of these three appointments that replace the Olympic Head Coach role, Barry Fudge, the current lead of Sports Science and a key figure behind the recent successes of double World and Olympic Gold medallist Mo Farah has been named as British Athletics’ Head of Endurance.

He will oversee an endurance programme that will enable British Coaches the chance to up-skill and develop alongside some of the world’s best coaching set-ups, with a view to supporting key coach-athlete pairings towards podium success at world and Olympic level.

The programme will:

·         Draw upon the expertise and input of Mo Farah’s Coach Alberto Salazar who will advise in a consultancy capacity from his base in the USA at Nike’s Oregon project

·         Assist athlete-coach pairings where appropriate, to travel to the Portland in order to develop and learn.

·         Include guidance and mentoring for athletes from key advisors including Britain’s marathon world record   holder Paula Radcliffe

·         Advise on maximising the impact of altitude training

·         Ensure opportunities for British Coaches through a combination of funded developing coach positions and athlete–based support packages.

The first coaches to benefit from the new structure will be Rob Denmark and Jon Bigg – coaches to 800m talent Jessica Judd and 1500m rising star Charlie Grice respectively. They have been appointed as contracted coaches benefitting from a supported development programme and will begin their roles this month travelling out to Portland alongside Fudge to start working with Salazar.

Neil Black said:

“Barry is a world renowned expert in developing endurance programmes, most recently as a key part of the team around Mo Farah. In discussing the way forward for endurance with the Endurance Advisory Panel, Barry received unanimous support as the individual with precisely the skill set to work alongside both coaches and athletes to add value and accelerate progress.  

“He will not be coaching himself – his role, supported by Alberto, Paula and others, is to ensure that both athletes and their coaches make the most of the opportunity that being on the Olympic Performance Programme affords them."

Barry Fudge said:

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to take the work we have done with Mo and use those learnings across a number of other coach-athlete pairings.

“We will have the benefit of working alongside some of the most talented endurance coaches in the world, but I am also excited about the opportunities this brings to home grown coaching talent like Rob and Jon and others like them.

“The aim will be to offer the best possible input and support to our top medal hopes whilst working alongside our developing coach and athlete talent to bridge that gap toward podium performances.”

More information relating to the remaining positions heading up the sprints and throws/jumps/combined event areas will be confirmed early in the New Year.