16th November 2009


16 November 2009 

UKA today announced the appointment of Esa Utriainen as National Event Coach for Javelin, as part of the new strategy for the performance structure under Head Coach Charles van Commenee and Strategic Head of Coaching and Development Kevin Tyler.

The Finnish coach and former international athlete has an outstanding track record in elite coaching, including leading the programmes that saw athletes win ten World and European Championship medals.

In a career spanning more than two decades, Utriainen has a rich history in coaching the javelin, holding the National Event Coach role for a number of years with the Finnish Athletic Association. More recently he has placed an emphasis on junior programmes as the U18 Javelin Head Coach, which saw Finnish athletes win gold, silver and bronze at the 2007 Youth World Championships in Ostrava.

His extensive practical experience combined with degrees in coaching and physical education has been translated into hard copy in the form of ‘Javelin Throwing’, which although published 22 years ago is still a staple in Finnish coach education.

Utriainen said: “Over the past year I have watched with interest the NEC appointments within UKA and I am impressed with the focus on coaching staff. Therefore it is an honour to join the existing team of coaches working under Charles and Kevin.

“It is well known that javelin is not the strongest event within the British team but looking back at former throwers such as Steve Backley, Tessa Sanderson and Mick Hill and at Britain’s current record holder Goldie Sayers it is clear that the challenge for me is to create a sustainable program which delivers athletes year on year. I look forward wholeheartedly to working with British javelin coaches to develop athletes and find future prospects.”

Van Commenee said: “This appointment takes us one step closer to our final goal of an NEC for each event group. Esa is an internationally renowned coach who has a proven track record, the Finnish are to javelin what the Brazilians are to football. In particular it is his outstanding achievements over a long period that interests me because it is important to create a workable strategy to secure the future of javelin throwing in this country.”

Tyler said: “As strategic head of coaching and development I take great pleasure in recruiting a coach of Esa’s calibre. He has a lot to bring to UKA and will be a real asset to us in the area of coach education and supporting British coaches in their development. With each NEC appointment we are strengthening UKA’s coaching base which is a really exciting long term prospect.”

Since van Commenee’s appointment in early 2009 ten National Event Coaches have been appointed in the areas of men’s and women’s sprints, endurance, high jump, pole vault, triple jump, long jump, combined events, javelin and hurdles.