Phil Banning

Phil BanningPhil Banning was Welsh National Coach from 1995 until 2006. He led the Welsh Athletics Team to three consecutive Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpar, Manchester and Melbourne and was for 11yrs in charge of the development of Athletics in Wales.

Phil was born in Hampshire, England and as a 14yr old began to shine as a middle-distance runner. He won his School, Area and County Cross Country titles, and then went on to represent Hampshire in the prestigious All England Schools’ Championships, where he Finished 2nd and so his love for Athletics began.

The Athlete

As a talented athlete Phil represented Great Britain Juniors in Internationals on the track (1500m) and at cross country. He represented Great Britain Seniors both indoors and outdoors (1972 to 1997). He was a member of the Great Britain Team at the European Indoor Championships and at the Outdoor European Cup. He was selected for the English Commonwealth Games Team of 1974 but had to withdraw due to injury. He also ran for the Great Britain Students’ Team at the World University Games in Moscow.

Phil set  British U20 records for the 1500m (3.45.2) and the mile (4.00.4) and was voted  “Champion of Champions “ in winning the 1500m at the AAA U20 Championships ahead of  future GB Athletic Greats, Geoff Capes (shot)and Alan Pascoe (hurdles) who would go onto win European and Commonwealth Golds.

Study, Work and Racing

Phil studied at Villanova University, USA, for a while and then returned to the UK to study at Borough Road College in London. After qualifying to become a teacher, Phil gained 5years’ experience as a Junior School teacher and later moved onto Secondary Education where he became Head of P.E at the Winton School in Andover.

Like almost all athletes of this era, Phil faced the challenge of combining a fulltime day job with a total commitment to athletics training in the evenings and at weekends. It was during this time (1975) that Phil had perhaps his best race ever in winning the AAA Indoor 1500m title in 3.41.9 against such athletes as Steve Ovett, Ian Stewart, Jim Douglas and Walter Wilkinson beating the existing British, European and Commonwealth record.

The Coach

After retiring from competitive Athletics, Phil started coaching at his local club, Andover. He soon had a group of athletes that boasted 5 Internationals. He was appointed UK National Junior Events’ Coach for 800m & 1500m and worked closely with legendary coach, Harry Wilson (Steve Ovett’s coach) who was the Senior Coach. After a successful period in this position, Phil was appointed National Coach for Wales.

Phil Banning is a UK level 4 Coach (sprints, middle distance and endurance). He was awarded British Athletics Federation “Master Coach” in 1993. He led a 2 week coaching clinic in Uganda in 1990 for the British Council and IAAF and in 1992 spent a month in South Africa on a coaching and lecturing tour.

Written by Gwyn Williams

Team Coaching Appointments


Olympic Games Atlanta 1996 – Part of the Coaching Team (Endurance)
Great Britain Senior Team European Cup 1997
Great Britain Senior Team World Cup 1994
Great Britain Senior Team World Indoor Championships 1995
Great Britain U23's teams 1993-2003
Great Britain Junior teams (U20) 1985-1996 including World and European Championships


Commonwealth Games Melbourne 2006 - Head Coach Wales
Commonwealth Games Manchester 2002 - Head Coach Wales Commonwealth Games Kuala Lumpur 1998 - Head Coach Wales
Head coach for Welsh teams in Welsh Games Small Nations and junior matches 1996-2010


England Senior Men and Women’s Teams outdoors
England Senior Men’s Indoor Team

Personal Coaching Achievements

Here are some of the Achievements of some of the athletes that Phil Banning has coached

Elite Athletes

Hannah Whitmore
2006 - Gold Medal European Cross Country GB U23 team
2009 - World Cross Country Championships GB Senior team

Matt Elias
2006 - S/F Commonwealth Games 400mH

Natalie Lewis
2001 - GB v USA U20 1500m
2002 - GB U23 v Germany 1500m (1st)
GB U23v France v Spain 1500m
Commonwealth Games Manchester
2003 - GB U23 team European Championships 1500m
GB U23 v France 1500m (1st)
2004 - GB v USA v Europe V Commonwealth Select 1500m (senior)

Hayley Parry
1997 - S/F World indoor Championships
European Cup Munich
World Student Games 4th (1500m), 5th (800m)
1998 - European Indoor Championships

Simon Lawson
2006 - British Indoor Record U17’s (3000m)

Amanda Pritchard
2001 - GB v USA U23 (1st 800m)

Emma Davies
1996 - GB U20’s v Finland v Germany (i. 800m)
1997 - GB U20’s v Germany (i)
5th European Junior 800m Final
GB U20’s v Germany (I) 800m
2002 - S/F Commonwealth Games

Lynn Gibson
1990 - GB U20’s v Spain v France v FRG (800m)
1991 - GB U23’s v France v Germany (800m)
1994 - GB V USA (i. 800m 1st)
GB v USA 1500m
European Championships 1500m
Commonwealth Games Final 1500m
1995 - World Indoor Championships (7th 1500m)
GB Senior v Russia
GB Senior v France

Debbie Gunning
1990 - GB v Finland (1500m)
1991 - GB v USA 1500m GB v Italy (1500m)
1993 - GB v USA (i. 1500m)
GB v USA (3000m)
1994 - GB v USA (i. 1500m)
1995 - GB v Russia (i. 1500m)
GB v France (i)
GB v USA 1500m
1996 - European Indoor Championships (1500m)
GB v Russia 1500m
GB v France 1500m

Natalie Tait
1989 - GB U20’s v Germany v Switzerland (800m)
European Junior Ch (S/F) 800m
GB U23’s v Hun v Greece 800m
1990 - GB U20’s v Germany v Finland
World Junior Championships (800m)
GB U20’s v Italy v Austria (800m)
1991 - GB U20’s v Finland v Germany
European Junior Championships (5th)
World Student Games Bronze Medal
1995 - World Student Games 800m 3rd

Michelle Harries
1991 - GB U20’s v Finland v Germany
European Junior Championships (7th)

Wendy Wright
1986 - World Junior Championships (1500m)

Jo Dering
1990 - England v Russia (3000m 8:59.45)
1991 - GB Team World Indoor Championships (1500m)
GB Team Six nations match (1500m 3rd)

Mal Edwards
1986 - GB v Spain (800m)
GB v USSR (1500m)
Commonwealth Games (Wales) 5th 800m

Rob Denmark
1987 - GB U20’s v Poland v Germany (1500m)

Rhonda MacPhee
1994 - GB v Russia U20’s (i. 800m)

Justin Swift-Smith
1992 - GB U20’s v Italy v Hungary (800m)
1993 - GB U20’s v Italy v Hungary (800m)
GB U23s v Russia v Germany (800m)
1994 - GB Team European U23’s Cup (800m)

Karen Whetton
1991 - GB U20’s Team World X Country Championships
GB U20 Team v Hungary v Germany (3000m)
GB team 8 nation U20’s (3000m)

Alyson Layzell                    
1997 - 400mH Welsh Senior record

Eloise Crowley                   
2003 - GB U23 v France (3000m)

Welsh Athletics Ltd.
Cardiff International Sports Stadium
Leckwith Road
Cardiff. CF11 8AZ.

  • WAG
  • SCW
  • UKA