England Athletics’ drive for new coaches
ENGLAND Athletics hopes a new coaching initiative can get 10,000 new faces into athletics and running coaching by 2020.
Dina Asher-Smith helped launch the #gocoach scheme last week – an ideal face of the initiative given that her great season was orchestrated by John Blackie, the same coach she first met as a nine-year-old at Blackheath & Bromley in 2004.
“The relationship between any coach and athlete, whether at elite or beginner level, is pivotal in enabling you to be the best version of yourself both on and off the track,” she said.
“I hope the campaign will inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to think about becoming a coach or run leader. Our fantastic sport wouldn’t survive without them.”
Blackie added: “Being a coach is incredibly rewarding. Not only are you able to share achievements, but you’re also there to support and motivate during any low moments.
“I’ve been lucky enough to work with Dina for 14 years now and share her journey to being the fastest British woman in history. The joys of coaching don’t just apply to working with elite athletes, though. Being a volunteer coach or leader is an extremely worthwhile role. I would encourage everyone to get involved.”
Asher-Smith says of her coach: “He’s patient with me, especially when I don’t get things right for the first time, which happens quite a lot! He’s like a second dad to me and has completely changed my life.
“To just see all his plans, hard work and vision come to fruition, especially with the 200m in Berlin, was so special.”
A new website – gocoach. englandathletics.org – gives details of the coaching pathway and qualifications, plus information on anti-doping, how to book various courses and how to say thanks to your coach.
Successful partnership: Dina Asher-Smith and coach John Blackie