Save The Date- Fuzz Caan to headline Athletics NI Coaching Conference on 29th September 2018

20 July 2018

Save The Date- Fuzz Caan to headline Athletics NI Coaching Conference on 29th September 2018

The 2018 Athletics Northern Ireland Coaching Conference will take place on Saturday 29th September at Ulster University, Jordanstown and will feature a range of experts.

Coach Development Lead, Laura Kerr explains “Our annual coaching conference has grown year on year - the theme for 2018 will be: ‘Aspiring to Coaching Excellence.’ Over the past 12 months we have seen medals from Northern Ireland athletes at Commonwealth Youth and Senior Games, World Junior,  World Junior and Senior Para Championships. Growing numbers of NI athletes are representing Great Britain & Irish Athletics Teams at major championships. Athletics Northern Ireland are focused on supporting coaches as they guide athletes transitioning from the junior to senior ranks. This will require excellent planning and professional communication to integrate support services and work with team staff.”

Fuzz Caan will deliver a keynote presentation on ‘Coaching Communication’ and the importance of this in building and managing the athlete-coach relationship.  Athletics NI would like coaches to consider how and when they can most effectively communicate with their athlete but also how they deliver under pressure and tailor their style in different situations, for example championship coaching. Fuzz, who himself jumped 2.21m aged 20 and has since guided Robbie Grabarz to Olympic Bronze in London 2012, will share his experience of managing relationships in coaching and building trust and rapport with support personnel including medics, team staff and funders etc.

Also confirmed for this years conference are Steve Vernon (Team New Balance- Coach to European Bronze Medallist Ciara Mageean) and Dr Richard McCann (Sport NI Sports Institute Physiologist.)  Steve will discuss his personal transition from athlete to coach, his coaching journey and philosophy. First representing Great Britain in Belfast in 1999 as an 18 year old Steve will explain how he pursued his interests in coaching through his athletics career in his 20s and then later took on voluntary coaching on his way to a professional role with New Balance.  With a growing number of Northern Irish athletes undertaking coaching qualifications and pursuing coaching following their own competitive career we believe this will be a timely message for the next generation of coaches and we will be offering a special discount to young coaches wishing to attend this year's’ conference.  


In the lead up to Gold Coast 2018 Dr Richard McCann joined our Athletics NI Commonwealth Games Preparation camp for Endurance Athletes in Murcia.  Ricky who was also head of Sports Science for the Irish Football Association during their incredible Euro 2016 campaign will share his experience of applied physiology in relation to athlete wellness, acclimation, hydration and load management so that coaches can consider how an understanding of physiology and monitoring may support the coaching process in athletics.


Director of Coaching and Athlete Development, Jackie Newton, said “As we reflect on the successes of Northern Ireland’s Athlete-Coach pairs in 2018 and look forward to the transition of our talented junior athletes to senior teams in the future, this conference serves as an excellent opportunity for local coaches to come together and immerse themselves in current best practice. I believe the conference will meet the needs of the next generation of coaches - club coaches striving to develop talent and performance coaches working with integrated support teams. I look forward to spending time with Northern Ireland’s coaching community and encourage our coaches to save the date and book quickly when we open for registration in August. More exciting speakers will be announced with the full schedule in the coming weeks.”