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a new horizon

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08 June 2009 

Kevin Tyler, UKA’s Strategic Head of Coaching and Development looks forward to a new horizon in coaching - article as seen in Athletics Weekly.

The United Kingdom has a long history of developing many of the world’s top coaches and it is a great honour to be entrusted with the responsibility of furthering this tradition.  Since arriving in the UK I have travelled throughout the home nations and regardless of location people are unanimous in their belief that the establishment of a robust and integrated coaching system must be the legacy of the 2012 and 2014 games.

The restructure at UKA has seen three coaches: Charles Van Commenee, Peter Eriksson and myself, assume important strategic positions within the organisation.  This was the first step towards returning to a coach led sport, ensuring that a coaching culture will inform the process as we move forward.

We are now in a unique position.  With two major games on the horizon we possess the resources and the desire to reclaim the United Kingdom’s position as the world leader in coach development.  I do not make this statement lightly, such a goal will require a great deal of time and energy, but I am committed to ensuring that we meet this objective.   I appreciate that it will take the work of many partners to develop such a world leading coach education system, hence it is essential that we reach out and build partnerships with everyone that has something to contribute to this process. 

A key step along this road will be the launch of the UK Coaching Certificate (UKCC) in autumn 2009. The UKCC will provide a more consistent quality of coach education and most importantly will incorporate a higher degree of technical content than the previous UKA qualifications.  In conjunction with UKCC I also want to ensure that coaches have the opportunity to engage in informal, low cost, self directed learning.   As part of my work establishing the Canadian Athletics Coaching Centre we interviewed over 50 of the most successful coaches in the world and without exception they identified mentoring and informal learning as the most important factors in their development.  I appreciate that not everyone has the time or resources to travel around the world to seek out mentoring and technical advice from the best minds available – so we must do everything possible to bring this to you and present it in a manner that is accessible on your terms.

Coaches who wish to learn and improve their skills must have significantly more, high quality opportunities to do so.  I hope in turn this will encourage more people to take up coaching while simultaneously providing our current coaches with the tools necessary to meet the goals and aspirations they set for themselves and their athletes. 

Now that the outdoor season is upon us I look forward to spending more time in the field attending competitions and engaging clubs on their home turf.  Until then, I wish everyone the best of luck with their preparation, and I hope this summer is one of the most productive and rewarding seasons to date.

For more information on the UKCC click here