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Chris Jones & Tim Benjamin to take up key UK roles

05/03/2021 00:00, In Blog /

Welsh Athletics has agreed to second National Coach Chris Jones to work alongside British Athletics Performance Director Sara Symington and Olympic Head Coach Christian Malcolm to review a UK Wide approach for endurance, and Tim Benjamin has succeeded in being appointed to the role of Head of Long Sprints.

This will mean that Chris will reduce his commitment to Welsh Athletics by 40% (2 days per week). He will continue to lead the Performance team as they manage the challenges presented by COVID, and alongside the rest of the Performance team, continue to support our athletes in their preparation for the Commonwealth Games in 2022.

CEO, James Williams commented:

‘The 5 Athletics Governing Bodies in the UK are working to create an aligned performance pathway, we are delighted that Chris will play a key role in helping to shape what that could look like from an Endurance perspective. Chris remains committed to Welsh Athletics and is working hard with the team in the build up to what promises to be a very challenging and different Track and Field season for our athletes.’

Welsh Athletics will aim to further bolster the performance team with additional resource to support Endurance, a further announcement to follow in the coming weeks.

Chris Jones feels excited by the opportunity:

"It'll be a real privilege to work with those in British Athletics and the four Home Countries to align our pathways for endurance athletes. We've had a lot of dialogue around the structures that are in place, the thinking behind our approach, and how we can join these up. I'm confident the great work happening in Wales will continue and that working together the can continue to bring through more talented endurance athletes onto the World stage."

Statement from British Athletics:

Following a recruitment process for the Head of Endurance role, no appointment has been made; instead a wider & longer term strategy for endurance will be driven via a wide consultation across a range of stakeholders. Chris Jones will be seconded with the agreement of  Welsh Athletics on a two-day a week basis to lead on this project in conjunction with Christian Malcolm and Sara Symington.

Rob Denmark will continue on an interim basis to act up as the main point of contact for those athletes targeting Tokyo until after the Games

Another Welshman, Tim Benjamin, has also been appointed into a key role in British Athletics as  Head of (long) Sprints and Relays, following an open recruitment process, where he'll work alongside Darren Campbell. 

Tim Benjamin said:

“I am delighted to be offered this role alongside Darren. I’ve remained a big fan of athletics throughout my retirement and had always wanted an opportunity to give back to my sport. I’ve had 11 years in the commercial world yet my heart has always been here.

“I had a great competitive career and have worked with world class coaches such as Jock Anderson, Tony Lester, Colin Jackson and Linford Christie. I’ve been exposed to so many differing approaches and I’ve also made my fair share of errors as an athlete which means I can bring this insight and experience to help support the athletes and coaches I work with in this role.”