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UK Athletics

UKA ‘5 rings’ conferring continues

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There are still a limited number of places available at the second UK Athletics Generic Athlete Components Conferences being organised for Level 3 and Level 4 coaches at Loughborough University on Saturday 14 October.


It follows some 90 Level 3 and Level 4 coaches accepting their invitations to the first conference of its kind, at Brunel University in West London on Saturday 7 October.


Most of them stayed on for the UK Athletics Jumps Conference at the same venue 24 hours later – and Level 4 coach Egryn Jones, who numbers UK pole vault record holder Janine Whitlock among his squad of 14 of all age groups and mixed abilities, summed-up: “Anything that gives an opportunity for coaches to come together has got to be good.


“Outside the lecture theatres, seminars and deliveries, it reminds me of why I love athletics. There are lovely people involved. It brings together people with the same ideas and ideals – and it gives an opportunity to voice complaints.”


As Whitlock has been given a life ban from participating in Olympic and Commonwealth Games as a result of being found guilty of a doping violation in 2002, and therefore cannot receive Lottery funding, Jones is campaigning for non-Performance jumpers to be better funded, and said: “I hope that as a result of this conference more money and more proactive assistance is made available – and quickly.”


Of the content of the conferences, Jones said: “The two days were pretty different. As I have a physics, maths and engineering drawing background, I found a lot of the stuff that was delivered on Saturday was second nature to me. Over the weekend, the structure was such that there was plenty of time for discussion.”


Carol Jackson, whose high jump squad includes AAA Junior Champion Robbie Grabarz, said: “The 5 Rings Conference put everything in perspective for me. The messages were clear and concise.”


Andy Paul, UKA Head of Athletics Development, said: “Judging by what the coaches who were at Brunel have said to me, we have found a simple way of putting across the messages about what athletes need. There are still about 20 spaces available at Loughborough next Saturday because we have toom for about 120 in total – but coaches only have until Wednesday to enrol.”


The day will begin with registration at 9am and is scheduled to finish at 5pm. After a short introduction by Andy Paul, Dave Collins, the UKA Performance Director, will explain the importance of ‘the 5 rings’. Callum Orr, UKA Head of Coaching and Teaching, will talk about coach education.


Post-lunch there will be practical sessions with all delegates having a chance to absorb the importance of 3 of ‘the 5 rings’.


Steve Backley will deal with fundamental movement skills, which are basic to advanced motor skills that underpin athletic performance in every event.


Collins will explain psycho-behavioural aspects – the mental abilities and fitness required to train and compete with peak efficiency and effectiveness.


Orr will cover lifestyle, the often neglected external factors that can play a significant part in enhancing or detracting from top performance. He will explain the importance of how athletes live when they’re not training.


The day will close with a question and answer session.


The other two elements of ‘the 5 rings’ are “technical and tactical”, the techniques and tactics required to master specific events, and strength and conditioning, systematic and sustained preparation of the physical components necessary to address the demands of the event.


They will be covered in detail at the remaining Event Conferences also being arranged by UK Athletics and partners:


UK Throws Conference and UK Combined Events Conference both at Loughborough University on Sunday 15 October.


British Milers’ Club Symposium incorporating the UK Endurance Conference at Stratford-upon-Avon on Sunday 29 October. In partnership with the BMC the endurance specific element of this conference series will be delivered as part of the symposium, in October. To find out more programme details and to register for this event please either visit the British Milers Club website or contact Pat Fitzgerald 01895 811822


UK Race Walking Event Conference on Sunday 29 October at Leeds Metropolitan University organised by UK Event Coach, Andi Drake. It will be built into an additional squad camp being run simultaneously and will be free thanks to funding from the British Athletics Foundation and sponsorship from Leeds Met.


Registration forms for all conferences can be obtained by emailing conferences@ukathletics.org.uk or calling 0870 998 6739 or 6774. Conference delegates seeking a preferential rate for accomodation should contact WGT Sport on 0121 745 1001.