Development and Performance
Moving forward over the next two years the National Endurance Programme will aim to increase its investment in senior athlete preparation, our aim must be focused on closing the individual performance gap at championship events, qualification is a process welsh endurance athletes are now achieving, standalone one off performances do not support a high level of consistency which falls short under the pressures of any major games or championship event, competition exposure with focused preparation are key areas of development if we are to improve our performance delivery in 2022, reaching a higher level of consistency is crucial before we can challenge for major honours at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
Chris Jones, National Coach
Our current supported senior endurance athletes are Bethan Davies (20km Walk), Charlotte Arter (5,000m and 10,000m), Dewi Griffiths (Half Marathon and Marathon), Heather Lewis (20km Walk), Ieuan Thomas (3000m Steeplechase), Jenny Nesbitt (10,000m and Half Marathon), Jonathan Hopkins (3000m Steeplechase), Josh Griffiths (Half Marathon and Marathon), Melissa Courtney (1,500m, 3,000m and 5,000), Natasha Cockram (Marathon), Stevie Stockton (5,000m and 10,000m) and Caryl Jones (Marathon). More information about the Athlete Support Programme can be found here.
Our current supported futures endurance athletes are Ben Thomas (Steeplechase), Kiara Frizelle (1500m and 3000m), Naomi Reid (800m and 1500m), Oliver Barbaresi (3000m and Cross Country), Cari Hughes (1500 and Cross Country) and Jake Heyward (1,500m). The futures programme is run by Liz Davies and the criteria can be found here.
National Development Programme
The National Development Programme is a standard based programme, currently supports 35-38 athletes who are priority athletes at this critical point of development. The National Talent Coordinator is responsible for tracking athletes' performances and improving communication with individual coach athlete relationships.
The endurance coaching community have made a huge contribution over the past two years, we have seen more athletes on Great Britain teams, Welsh records broken, athletes ranked across events in the UK top 3 (Marathon /20K Walk/ 10k Women /3KS/C Men /Junior men 1500m/ Junior Women 3k/ Junior men 3KS/C) and consistently athletes ranked in the top 10.
Regional Development Programmes
The regional programme has now been established for two years, this has been a none standard based entry level programme. Regional coordinators have implemented their own programmes to support regional athletes across a wide base. The regional lead coordinators have also a support network team of coaches, which would give a total of 12 coaches supporting the regional delivery. The total amount of athletes involved in the regional programme is currently 150 athletes and 35 to 40 coach’s dependents on the delivery and content of each region.
The overall aim of the programme is to focus on only a few key areas:
- Physical preparation and skill development
- Coach education
- Athlete coach support.
The regional coordinators and support coaches have continued to do a huge amount of work with athletes and coaches across each region. The programme has reached an embedded stage and is the corner stone of our over all endurance programme. Moving forward, once agreed by welsh schools, the regional programme coordinators will be responsible for the selection process for the mini marathon, this is a huge step forward in aligning the schools and regional programmes as part of the overall endurance strategy.