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"The endurance development program is an athlete and coach centred pathway that aims to increase the standard of endurance athletics across Wales from club level to Commonwealth Games Podium and representing Great Britain. Long-term athlete development and a holistic and process focused approach are present throughout the pathway with a larger emphasis on results and outcome as athletes progress from Junior to Senior level.

The outcome aims of the program are two-fold;

  1. To increase the number of robust and well rounded young athletes who enjoy and are retained in our sport
  2. To provide bespoke support to our highest performing senior athletes to facilitate an increased number of personal bests and podium positions at Major Championships and beyond”

Steve Mitchell - Endurance National Talent Development Coordinator

The Regional and National Development Programmes are part of an initiative by Welsh Athletics to support talented athletes and their coaches across Wales.

Programme Aims:

  • To support talented athletes for a smooth transition from Junior to Senior level
  • To support implementing the right training at the right time
  • To promote lifestyle advice to support athlete training
  • To maximise retention in the U17-23 age groups
  • To facilitate collaborative working and sharing of ideas amongst coaches

Find out more about the Welsh Athletics Development Programmes here.

To get in touch please email

What is the Regional Development Programme?

The Regional Development Program is the first stage of the Endurance Development Pathway. At this stage in the pathway Athletes and Coaches will be invited to attend regional development sessions throughout the year led by the Regional Endurance leads below.


What opportunities are available if I am invited onto the Regional Development Programme?

If invited to be part of the Regional Development programme you will be expected to attend 3 Regional Development Sessions between September and March.


What age groups does the Regional Development Programme target?

Athletes must between the upper U15 and U20 age groups (or school years 9-13) to be invited onto the programme.


How do I get onto the Regional Development Program?

Entry on to the Regional programme will be via an invite from the Regional Lead. The following will be taken into consideration when selecting for the programme:

  • Power of 10 ranking
  • Performances in track and Cross-Country races – both club and schools
  • Recommendation by teacher or coach


What will I expect at a Regional Development Session?

The Regional sessions are led by the Regional Endurance Lead and the Regional Support Coaches.

They involve, both an endurance running technical and a physical preparation session.


Can coaches and parents attend the Regional Sessions?

Coaches are key to the success of endurance across the development pathway. Coaches will be personally invited to attend all regional days and coach development will be aligned with the coach development strategy. The Regional Sessions also provide an opportunity for coaches to network and share ideas and good practice.

Parents are also able to attend the Regional Development Sessions. The information and skills picked up by athletes will be better transferred into every-day life with the support of parents.


Regional Development Team


East Wales

Regional Coordinator – Steve Mitchell (

Support Coach – Deb Howells

Support Coach – Tom Marshall

Next Regional Development Day: Saturday 8th October (Brecon)


South Wales

Regional Coordinator – Mark Gold (

Support Coach – Pete Ryder

Support Coach – Lucy Archer

Next Regional Development Day: Saturday 8th October (Aberdare)


North Wales

Regional Coordinator – John Messum (

Support Coach – Neil Edwards

Support Coach – Donna Welsh

Next Regional Development Day: Saturday 8th October (Treborth)


West Wales

Regional Coordinator - Neil Thomas (

Support Coach – Carol Jones

Support Coach – Rob Campion

Next Regional Development Day: Saturday 8th October (Camarthen)


The National Development Programme is the next point along the support pathway for aspiring endurance athletes. The programme is led by Steve Mitchell – National Talent Development Coordinator.


How do I get onto the National Development Programme?

Athletes must be in the upper U17 and first 2 years of the U20 age groups (or school years 11-13) to be eligible for selection on to the National Development Programme.

Athletes must achieve one of the track time standards in their age group to be accepted onto the National Development Programme. Please see the current standards on page 8 of the National Development Programme application pack here.

 The National Talent Development Coordinator will also consider athletes who have not achieved the time standard but have met the following:

  • Top 3 placing at the Junior GB mountain running championships
  • Top 25 placing at the Liverpool Cross Challenge or British Inter-counties cross country race


We recognise at Welsh Athletics that development is not always linear. Athletes who enter the National Development Programme will be allowed a 2 year grace period once invited onto the programme.


What does entry onto the National Development Programme mean for an athlete?

 An athlete who is on the National development Programme will receive the following benefits:

  1. An invitation for both Athlete and coach to attend 3 National Development camps/days a year between September and April. These camps will be supported by Sport Wales professionals e.g. Nutritionist, Strength and Conditioning Coach and Physchologist.
  2. Access to Behaviour and Lifestyle webinars between September and April.
  3. Performance marker tracking by the National Talent Development Coordinator.
  4. Individual Action Plans to work on with personal coaches.


What are the benefits to coaches of the National Development Programme?

Coaches of athletes on the National Development Programme will receive the following:

  1. Support to attend Continuing Professional Development Opportunities as agreed with the National Talent Development Coordinator and the Coach Development Coordinator.
  2. Meetings with the National Talent Development Coordinator to discuss individual athlete progress.

This programme focuses on the highest performing Junior national development athletes within endurance running in Wales. The programme aims to provide more bespoke and detailed support to an athlete identified as having the potential to perform at a UK national and international level.


Welsh Futures Programme Criteia:

  • Athletes must be 16 or above or in the U20 and U23 age groups to be eligible for the Welsh Futures Programme.
  • Athletes must achieve one of the age group time standards set out by the Welsh Athletics Performance team * – See link for time standards
  • Athletes who achieve GB international honours in Cross Country or Mountain running will also be considered for the Welsh Futures programme on an individual basis.


What are the benefits to the athlete/coach pairing of being on the Welsh Athletics Futures Programme?

The following support will be available to Welsh Futures athletes as agreed between the athlete-coach pairing and the National Talent Development Coordinator:

  • Physiology Lab and Field based support
  • Physiotherapy and Strength and Conditioning support
  • Nutrition, Lifestyle and Psychology support as identified on baseline assessment
  • Warm weather camps: An opportunity to join Senior athletes on warm weather training camps as set out by the performance team 
  • Athlete and coach meetings with the National Talent Development Coordinator to discuss individual progress and sport science support x 3 a year
  • An opportunity for individual coach profiling by the coach development coordinator to guide CPD opportunities.

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.

Welsh Athletics have run a number of webinars for the Endurance community, you can watch these back and access resources via our Youtube channel here.