Welsh Athletics in partnership with Sport Wales has invited 38 athletes on to its Commonwealth Games Programme [CGP] for the 2018-19 season, based on their potential to compete and challenge for medals at Birmingham 2022.
National Coach, Chris Jones, said: “Our focus going forward is on Birmingham 2022, on supporting the great range of talented athletes we have to not just push for selection, but be in the best possible place to make finals and challenge for medals at the games. We’ve set out a clear set of criteria for athletes and their coaches regarding the support they can receive from us, not just financially, but from access to really high-quality services from our staff and colleagues in Sport Wales. We’re looking to develop consistent, robust athletes who can deliver in a Championship environment.”
“I’m delighted to be able to invite so many athletes and their coaches on to what we see as a well-structured and ambitious programme, and really excited to be at the start of a new Games cycle with the prospect of working with this group of individuals in the lead up to Birmingham 2022.”
The Welsh Athletics CGP provides three levels of support for athletes and their coaches – Commonwealth Podium, Commonwealth Potential for senior athletes, and Commonwealth Talent Development for junior athletes. All those supported at the Talent Development level, will be nominated for funding from Sports Aid, to whom Welsh Athletics continue to be very grateful to for their ongoing investment in our sport.
Brian Davies, Director of Elite Performance at Sport Wales, said: “It’s been another successful 12 months for Welsh athletes and it’s great to see such a strong cohort named on the new performance programmes of Welsh Athletics. Those at the top of their tree have been rightly recognised and rewarded after a string of fine results but it has also been a year of breakthroughs for many up-and-coming athletes as they continue to develop and strive towards fulfilling their potential. Sport Wales is delighted to be able to support Welsh Athletics in also providing sufficient support for this group of future stars. This is an exciting period for Welsh Athletics given the depth of strength throughout the programme which sets us on the path towards the Birmingham 2022 and championships beyond.”
The fastest man in Wales, Sam Gordon, will now receive extra support from the programme as he and his coach, Matt Elias, continue to work towards the goal of a Birmingham 2022 100m medal.
“I had a reasonable year last year despite a small injury, and its nice that Welsh Athletics are putting their faith in me long term, having the extra funding and support will mean I can train more and more like a full time athlete which is what I need to do to compete. Sprinting in Great Britain is so strong right now, but I believe I can be there with those guys at that level. Making it to that final in Birmingham, wearing the red vest of Wales would be fantastic, that’s the goal.” Said Sam, who works part-time as an Activity Coordinator with schools in the Vale of Glamorgan.
In addition, the category of Associate Athlete has been introduced to support experienced individual athletes with ambitions of qualifying to compete at major championships in the next two years.
There are a number of athletes who we will be supporting over the coming months to exit the programme, and we would like to recognise all their efforts and achievements in the red vest of Wales over recent years, and we’ll be encouraging them to stay involved in the sport where possible.
This follows the announcement by British Athletics last week that four Welsh Athletes and five Welsh Para-athletes will be part of their World Class Programme (WCP) for 2018-19, bringing the total of supported Athletes in Wales to 47. Commonwealth bronze medallist from the Gold Coast Melissa Courtney (Rob Denmark: Poole) will join Dewi Griffiths on the Olympic Podium programme. Rising middle distance star Jake Heyward, and West Wales throwing sensation James Tomlinson, are both retained on the Olympic Potential programme.
Commonwealth Bronze Medallist from the Gold Coast Melissa Courtney commented:
“After a successful year, I was hoping to be on the programme so it’s really nice to have that confirmed, I’ve proved I can deliver without it, but having the extra support available here at Loughborough and increased access to training camps will add to the great support I’ve been getting from Welsh Athletics.“
The British Athletics WCP is UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded initiative to support the delivery of success at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Membership onto the WCP for 2018-19 is based upon an athletes’ potential to win a medal at Tokyo 2020 or Paris 2024.
Welsh Athletics Commonwealth Games Support Programme
Full list of supported athletes:
- Ben Gregory
- Brett Morse
- Caryl Jones
- Dai Greene
- Seren Bundy-Davies
- Bethan Davies
- Charlotte Arter
- David Omoregie
- Ieuan Thomas
- Osian Jones
- Adele Nicoll
- Curtis Matthews
- Heather Lewis
- Jac Palmer
- Jenny Nesbitt
- Jonathan Hopkins
- Josh Griffiths
- Natasha Cockram
- Owen Smith
- Rebecca Chapman
- Sam Gordon
- Stevie Stockton
- Ben Thomas
- Bethan Rees
- Bethany Moule
- Cari Hughes
- Hannah Brier
- Jay Morse
- Jeremiah Azu – status to be confirmed
- Joe Brier
- Kiara Frizelle
- Kristian Jones
- Lauren Evans
- Lauren Williams
- Naomi Reid
- Oliver Barbaressi
- Osaze Aghedo
- Sarah Omoregie
- Tom Hewson
British Athletics World Class Programme support [Full details of BA WCP]
- Olympic Podium: Dewi Griffiths, Melissa Courtney
- Olympic Potential: Jake Heyward, James Tomlinson
Athlete’s performance level, progression, age, time in the sport, potential for further development and current training environment were all considered by a panel made up of Welsh Athletics performance team staff, Sport Wales staff, and an independent member of the recently established Performance subgroup which forms part of the Welsh Athletics governance structure, to assess whether they can fulfil the objectives of the programme.
Whilst the support on offer is individualised to each athlete’s needs and support level, some of the benefits may include;
- Access to a sports physician, physiotherapist and massage therapist
- Sports science support, to include; access to a nutritionist, physiologist and psychologist
- Access to a strength and conditioning coach
- Performance advice
- Coach support
- Warm weather training grants
- International competition support
- Facility access at selected training venues
- An athlete support grant