About UK Coaching

19 talent coaches graduate from Aspire III

Thu, 30 Jun 2016

A cohort of the UK’s best talent coaches gathered in Nottingham yesterday to celebrate the completion of sport coach UK’s third Aspire programme.
 
Aspire was established five years ago to bridge the gap between sport-specific programmes arranged by Governing Bodies of Sport and the world-class programmes facilitated by UK Sport. 

In this third group of graduates from the programme, coaches representing the four home countries that feed into Team GB came from a range of sports Squash, Golf, and Swimming to Women’s Rugby Union, Sailing and Archery.

Over a 20 month period the 19 selected coaches have had access to a personal mentor, an online 360 review of their coaching and a bespoke talent-oriented programme of workshops with sessions by industry leading experts and experienced coaches.

Aspire ImageAs part of the celebration day, coaches were required to share their Aspire learning journey with their peers, mentors and guests from UK Sport and the Home Country Sport’s Councils.  Diverse, inspirational and emotional, the presentations highlighted the impact of the programme, particularly the outstanding mentors and many of the excellent workshop presenters. 

Sivakumar Ramasamy, Head Coach at Great British (GB) Talent Club Gurumu Taekwondo and a GB Development Coach was nominated for the programme by GB Taekwondo. He said, “The Aspire Programme has given me an opportunity to develop, understand learning and coaching environments but at the same time work with athletes to get into a high-performance environment.”

Sandra Walsh, who works with Glasgow School Sport and City of Glasgow Gymnastics Club was nominated by Scottish Gymnastics to be on the programme, “I think it has really made me think a lot more about not just the athlete but understanding the person and spending a lot more time developing relationships with people and athletes and coaches. Really trying to get the most out of them.”

Over the course of the day, coaches consistently talked about the importance of the learning community that was created through the programme.  As coaches from many different backgrounds and sports came together, the sharing of experience, knowledge and challenges, and the collaboration and support that emerged within the group had a profound effect upon participants’ coaching practice.

Stephen Hood, a golf coach with Golfing Union of Ireland and Irish Ladies Golfing Union put himself forward for Aspire as a result of seeing how much two colleagues who had completed the programme had gained from it, “It has changed my life. It’s made me a better coach, made me a better person. I have more solid and worthy relationships with everyone I work with, whether it is family, coaches or athletes. It has also created a very clear pathway for me within the next 10/15/20 years about what I want to do with my life and career.”

Mark Gannon, Chief Executive Officer of sports coach UK, said: “Congratulations to all of the coaches that graduated in the 2016 cohort of the Aspire programme. Informed and confident coaches are key to inspiring participation at all levels of sport, and particularly for those athletes in the talent pathway that have the capacity to reach the highest level in their sport.”

Stuart Armstrong, Head of Coaching at Sport England said: "The Aspire programme is a powerful example of the impact that individualised coach development support can have on the ability of coaches to support their athletes. At the elite end of sport, small changes can be the difference between and athlete or team succeeding or falling short. Aspire can be transformative for the coach and the athletes involved".
"I coach with a coach who is part of the Aspire programme and she has shared some of her experiences with me. I have witnessed first-hand the way that this has supported her development!"

As one programme concludes, another group of 22 talent coaches from around the UK still have another 12-months before they complete their Aspire journey.  Mentors are working hard with their coaches and the third workshop is taking place in September with a focus upon coaching planning.

Aspire III Cohort (2014 – 2016)

Name

Sport

Home Country

NGB Sponsor

Stephen Hood

Golf

Sport Northern Ireland

Golfing Union of Ireland - Ulster

Ben Kinnear

Freestyle Snowboarding and Ski

sportscotland

Snowsports Scotland

Colin Clarke

Field Hockey

sportscotland

GB Hockey

Gareth McNarry

Swimming

Sport Wales

British Swimming

Peter Hill

Swimming

Sport Northern Ireland

Swimming Ulster

Simon Oyler

Table Tennis

Sport Wales

Table Tennis Wales

Lee Drew

Squash

Sport England

England Squash and Racketball

Sivakumar Ramasamy

Taekwondo

Sport England

GB Taekwondo

Sarah Kelleher

Field Hockey

Sport England

GB Hockey

Laurie MacDonald

Sailing

sportscotland

Royal Yacht Association - Scotland

Sandra Walsh

Gymnastics

sportscotland

Scottish Gymnastics

Joanne Yapp

Rugby Union

Sport England

Rugby Football Union

Helen Ward

Badminton

Sport England

Badminton England

Kath Fitzpatrick

Archery

Sport England

Archery GB

Debbie Hanna

Sailing

Sport Northern Ireland

Royal Yacht Association - Northern Ireland

Andrew Ross

Shooting

sportscotland

Target Shooting Scotland

Adam Perman

Gymnastics

Sport Wales

Welsh Gymnastics

Greg Tippings

Squash

Sport Wales

Wales Squash and Racketball

Euan Dale

Swimming

Sport England

British Swimming

 

Photo:
Back Row (Left to Right): Stephen Hood, Ben Kinnear, Colin Clarke, Gareth McNarry, Peter Hill, Simon Oyler, Lee Drew
Front Row (Left to right): Sivakumar Ramasamy, Sarah Kelleher, Laurie MacDonald, Sandra Walsh, Joanne Yapp, Helen Ward, Kath Fitzpatrick, Debbie Hanna
Coaches not in photo: Andrew Ross, Adam Perman, Greg Tippings, Euan Dale
 

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