Sean Power’s name is synonymous with Athletics and the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC). His life at UWIC has spanned 4 decades. Arriving as a lecturer, he worked through the ranks to become Director of Athletics. Thousands of students have known him as lecturer, tutor, mentor, confidante and coach. Passionate about Athletics there are two things in particular that define Sean’s life in Athletics.
Firstly, as the instigator and prime moving force in building the National Indoor Athletics Centre (NIAC) on the Cyncoed Campus, the first of its kind in Britain. Secondly, with NIAC (opened in 2000) Sean as Director of Athletics built UWIC’s tradition and status establishing themselves as one of the top university athletics teams in Britain. Peaking around 2007 UWIC became British University Champions Indoors (3 times). In 2005 the UWIC team, coached by many of the best coaches in Wales and containing the following outstanding athletes, swept all before them in a remarkable victory:
Included in the winning Men’s Team were:
Pole Vault, 5.33m, Gold, BUSA record
High Jump, 2.20m, Gold, BUSA record
Long Jump, 7.68m, Gold, BUSA record
Triple Jump, 15.92m, Gold, BUSA record
400m, 46.96s, Gold, BUSA record
800m, 1:51.04, Gold
1500m, 3:52.89, Gold
Sez Childs, Peter Stafford, David Greene, Gareth Warburton, Elliot O’Neill, Steve Shalders
Out of 13 men’s events, UWIC won 8, and set 5 BUSA records.
Sean Power was quite simply ‘Mr Athletics’ at UWIC for over 30 years.
Written by Gwyn Williams
Sean competed for Great Britain and then Ireland in 25 senior international events. Continuing as a Masters athlete he set numerous British records in various age groups in the High, Long and Triple Jump events and won European and World Championships and set World records in the Triple Jump event. He was still competing in the Triple Jump for Cardiff AAC in the British League when he was over 60 years of age.
Sean trained as a teacher and then went to the USA to study for his Masters degree in Sports Science whilst at the same time teaching and also coaching Track and Field in University over there. Back in the UK he taught in Primary and Comprehensive schools before coming to Cardiff in 1974 to train teachers of Physical Education in what is now UWIC (University of Wales Institute, Cardiff).
Subsequently as a sports science and performance lecturer and eventually Head of the Department of Sport, he helped to develop what has become one of the largest and most successful University Academic Schools of Sport in the UK. During this time for a number of years he acted as the Sport Psychology consultant to the GB Horizontal Jumps Squads. For many years he was also the United Kingdom’s representative on the Co-ordinating Group of the European Network of Sport Science, Education and Employment. When he became an Associate Dean within the Faculty of Education and Sport in UWIC, as part of his remit he had responsibility for developing many of the facilities on the Cyncoed site, including designing and bringing to fruition his concept for Wales of a National Indoor Athletics Centre (NIAC), the first purpose-built indoor athletics facility anywhere in the UK.
Among other involvements during this period, besides delivering at many athlete and coaches’ workshops, national and international conferences on Sport Psychology topics, Sean was Chair of Cardiff AAC’s Coaching Committee for three years, spent 5 years tutoring for Sports Coach UK, was a Member of the UK National Coaching Foundation Consortium and represented UWIC on Sir Roger Bannister’s Government Task Force on Sports Scholarships and the UK Sports Academy.
Towards the end of his career at UWIC, with the support of the university and shortly after the opening of NIAC, Sean became Director of Athletics and worked at developing the UWIC Junior Academy of Athletics alongside raising the profile of UWIC AC in the UK, particularly within the university sector. In his time as UWIC’s Director of Athletics, UWIC AC won the British Universities team Athletics Championships on three occasions.
Sean has been a Great Britain Team Horizontal Jumps Coach, and a Great Britain Team Coach at the World University Games in Bangkok.
He received Welsh Athletics’ Meritorious Award in 1987 and the Award of Honour in 2008.
Steven Shalders (2004-2007) Wales & Great Britain Triple Jump
Triple Jump: 16.71m (17.00w) 2005 – Welsh Record
2005 World University Games, Izmir, Turkey, Silver
2005 UK Championships, Silver
2006 Commonwealth Games Finalist, Melbourne, Australia
Gary White (2005-2008) England & Great Britain Triple Jump
Triple Jump: 16.33 (2007)
2006 UK U23 Championships, Gold
2007 European U23 Championships, Debrecen, Hungary, Gold
2007 World University Games, Bangkok, Thailand
2007 UK U23 Championships, Gold
Elliot O’Neill (2005-2008) England & Great Britain Triple Jump
Triple Jump: 16.16 (2007)
Long Jump: 7.39 (2005)
2005 UK U23 Championships, Bronze
2006 UK U23 Championships, Silver
2007 European U23 Championships
Sara Barry (2005 – current) Wales Triple Jump
Triple Jump: 12.75 (2009) Welsh Record
2003 UK U23 Championships, Bronze
Helen Baker (2001-2004) Wales Triple Jump
Triple Jump: 12.25 (2004) Welsh Record
Alison Croad (2002-2005) Great Britain Triple Jump
Triple Jump: 12.30 (2004)
Education and Professional
1968 Certificate of Education, West Midlands College of Education
1971 MA Sport Science, University of Western Kentucky, Kentucky, USA
1983 Fellow of the College of Teachers (F.Coll.T.)
2001 Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (F.H.E.A.)
Member of the British Association of Sports and Exercise Sciences (1980-1997)
Member of the American College of Sports Medicine (1987-1997)
Member of the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology (1988-1993)
1996 Qualified Schools Inspector
UK Athletics, Level 4 Performance Coach (Triple Jump), Level 3 (Horizontal Jumps)
2006 British Weight Lifting Association Qualified Instructor
2007 UK Athletics Achieving Excellence in Coaching Scholar
2009 IAAF World Class Coaches Club Member