Nineteen talent coaches graduate from Aspire as 22 new recruits are announced

A new cohort of coaches have completed the latest round of sport coach UK’s Aspire programme and 22 new recruits have been announced for the initiative aimed at developing coaches working in the talent domain.

Aspire combines a face to face workshop programme with mentor support to provide an individual learning schedule for each participant. It was developed to broaden the understanding and influence the practice of coaches with potential to progress to a world class level.

In the second group of graduates from the programme coaches come from a range of sports including Athletics, Basketball, Boccia and Hockey.

Over an 18 month period the 19 coaches involved have had access to their own talent coach mentor, interactions within a community of practice, presentations from industry experts and experienced coaches and an online review of their coaching practice from their mentor and peers.

Claire Morrison is a Boccia Coach who is preparing for the Paralympics in Rio 2016. She signed up to Aspire shortly after starting her current coaching role through Scottish Disability Sport and said the programme has helped her to progress within her coaching practice.

“The whole Aspire experience has been a very positive one for me. It has been great to engage with coaches from other sports as well as learn about my own skills and abilities.

“As coaches we do so much to develop our athletes, yet we don’t take enough time to develop ourselves. Aspire has helped me to do this.”

Alan Keane is a Basketball Coach in West London, he applied to take part in Aspire to meet coaches from other sports and learn from their experience. He said having a mentor was a “game changer” in his coaching methods.

“Learning from a mentor has been the number one benefit for me as part of the Aspire programme. Having a mentor who goes above and beyond for me and being able to access that resource to help shape my coaching, I can’t stress what an advantage this has been.”

Tony Byrne, Chief Executive Officer of sports coach UK, said: “Congratulations to all of the coaches that have taken part in this cohort of the Aspire programme for the hard work they have put in to develop their coaching through the initiative.

“Developing coaches is important at all levels of sport, it is particularly important with those working in the talent pathway as it enables them to go on to nurture and develop young athletes with the potential of reaching the highest level and encourage them to stay in their sport.

“Good luck to the newly announced cohort of coaches, I wish them every success on their Aspire journey.”

With a third group of coaches currently midway through the Aspire programme, the initiative continues with a fourth cohort announced this week. These include coaches from a range of sports including athletics, basketball, golf and gymnastics and represent all four home countries.

Cohort four coaches will begin their journey on the programme in December and attend the workshop based programme with mentor support until the summer of 2017.

Graham Taylor is the head of coaching at UK Sport, he said: “The success of UK athletes and teams would not be possible without the coaches who dedicate their time to developing performers.

“The Aspire programme is a core initiative for building a world-class workforce to support talented athletes and I look forward to seeing the results of the latest cohort of coaches.”

Further information on Aspire can be found on the sports coach UK website

The full list of coaches selected for cohort four of Aspire is as follows:

Coach Sport Home Country
John Armstrong Rowing Sport Northern Ireland
Laura Kerr Athletics Sport Northern Ireland
Colin Williamson Rowing sportscotland
Danielle Brayson Swimming sportscotland
Iain Monaghan Rugby Union sportscotland
John Campbell Gymnastics sportscotland
Emily Perry Netball Sport England
Fred Bergandorff Equestrian Sport England
Jane O’Donaghue Tennis Sport England
Paul Wellens Rugby League Sport England
Mick Driscoll Boxing Sport England
Steve Robinson Golf Sport England
Ludo Sotto Fencing Sport England
Davoud Etminani Taekwondo Sport England
David Goodchild Volleyball Sport England
Nathan Stephens Para Athletics Sport Wales
Dale Frantzeskou Swimming Sport Wales
Elizabeth Lewis Rowing Sport Wales
Lee Davie Basketball Sport England
Nick Fowler Canoeing Sport England
Adrian Palmer Athletics Sport Wales
Andy Bullock Triathlon Sport England