10th November 2010

European Race Walking Conference

10 November 2010

The inaugural European Race Walking Conference, staged at the UKA National Race Walking Centre at Carnegie Leeds Metropolitan University in Leeds (5 – 7 November), attracted 70 delegates from 16 different countries.

Delegates travelled from across Europe and as far away as Australia, South Africa, Ethiopia, USA and Canada to attend the three day event, the second in the 2010 European Athletics Coaching Summit Series, where the focus was on the twin pillars of Long Term Coach Development and Athlete Development.

The line-up of speakers included coaches, practitioners from the fields of sports science and medicine, academics and top athletes, and in addition to listening to presentations, delegates were also involved in a series of workshops.

Highlights included:

  • Brent Vallance, Australian Institute of Sport Walks Coach, delivered a session on coaching transitions and around the development of 2008 Double Olympic medallist and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Jared Tallent;

  • Antonio La Torre, Associate Professor of Sports Science at the University of Milan, spoke about the development of 2004 Olympic 20km Champion Ivano Brugnetti;

  • Luis Saladie and Peter Marlow provided delegates with an update on judging;

  • Pat Ryan, Director of Development at Athletics Ireland, led a discussion around how to develop race walking based on the Irish Model;

  • Martin Rush from England Athletics led a practical drills and skills workshop.

A number of staff from the host institution also delivered practical workshops: Brian Hanley demonstrated and presented the key findings of his major biomechanical studies of race walking based on laboratory testing and a study of major international competitions; Fraser McKinney from the Carnegie Physiotherapy Clinic led a practical workshop on injury prevention, prehab and rehab and Andrew Abrahams led a practical problem solving workshop on coach decision making.

The Conference Dinner was held at the World Famous Headingley Carnegie Stadium and the event closed with delegates agreeing on a declaration to develop race walking coaching, Long Term Athlete Development and the development of the discipline.

The final event in the 2010 European Athletics Coaching Summit Series – the European Sprints and Hurdles Conference – takes place at the Radisson Edwardian Heathrow Hotel in London this weekend (13/14 November). For more information check out the event website at: www.uka.org.uk/coaching/conferences