Athletics NI coaches undertake Strength & Conditioning programme
13 February 2018
Athletics NI recently supported 5 athletics coaches to undertake their UK Strength & Conditioning Level 1 workshop. The UKSCA was established in 2004 to set professional standards for strength and conditioning coaches. The 2 day long workshop focusing on weightlifting, plyometrics, agility and speed was attended by Michelle Rea, Amy Foster, Paula Wallace & Kelly Neely who were all funded by Sport NI’s Women in Coaching Programme. Roger Sexton coach to Junior World Para 100/200m Champion Eve Walsh Dann (British Athletics Paralympic Potential Programme) was also funded by Athletics NI’s Commonwealth Potential Programme.
Coach Development & Physical Preparation Lead Laura Kerr explained; “Athletics NI believes sound physical preparation principles should underpin coaching in schools, clubs, universities and with performance athletes. At all levels of the pathway we seek to build robust, physically competent athletes and expose coaches to best practice strength & conditioning theory and delivery. The Sport NI Sports Institute supports our Podium Potential Athletes whilst our own Youth Academy is accelerating teenage athletes to a higher level of physical conditioning with up to 7 sessions a week available for coach-athlete pairs.”
“Michelle, Amy, Kelly, Paula & Roger coach in varying environments and we look forward to them embedding their learning in the programmes of the athletes they work with. Michelle Rea is coach to a number of Youth Academy jumpers and hurdlers from City of Lisburn Athletics Club and joined the Youth Academy support staff on last year’s Erasmus funded trip to Portugal. University of Ulster Sports Science Graduate Amy Foster is currently completing her PGCE and looks forward to pursing a career in education/sport. Amy has provided valuable coaching on the Athletics NI Rising Stars programme and as a speed coach for Glenlola Collegiate. Both coaches agreed the UKSCA workshop provided valuable information which will help drive their programming for teenage athletes.”
Kelly Neely combines her experience as a qualified personal trainer and track coach to prepare a range of athletes for middle and long distance events. Kelly works with some of NI top masters athletes and will come on board to assist with NI & Ulster Endurance Squads for 2018. Paula Wallace delivers weekly sessions for Buggy Club and Mary Peters Track Panthers 8-12 years old. Paula explained; “I found the tutors on the workshop very helpful and will be applying my learning relating to movement mechanics and appropriate progression of plyometrics on a weekly basis.
Roger Sexton, coach to his son Aaron, Commonwealth Youth Games 200m Champion & World Junior Paralympic Champion Eve Walsh-Dann, also attended the workshop and described it as “challenging and thought provoking” explaining that with athletes he coaches accessing S&C from various support personnel the workshop would help him to have informed conversations about individual athlete needs.
Athletics NI would like to thank Sport NI for their continued support and the UK Strength & Conditioning Association Tutors who engaged and challenged our coaches.
Coaches who would like to find out more about Strength & Conditioning/Physical Preparation may find these links useful:
- UKSCA Web Page & Qualifications: https://www.uksca.org.uk/home
- UKSCA Position Statement on Youth Strength & Conditioning: http://www.proformance.pro/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/UKSCA-Position-Statement-Final.pdf
- NI Futures Blog-Exercise Progression & Regression http://nifutures.com/team-blog/physical-competence-exercise-progression/
- NI Futures Blog- Open Academy Launch http://nifutures.com/physical-preparation/reflections-on-athletics-nis-first-open-academy-squad/