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Future of British speed skating in safe hands ahead of Sochi 2014 after UK Sport initiative

GB Short Track’s National Development coach Joanna Eley has successfully graduated from the UK Sport Elite Coaching Apprenticeship Programme (ECAP) following her selection for the initiative in 2010. Her achievements were recognised at UK Sport’s 12th annual World Class Performance Conference in Leeds on Monday 26 November.

The ECAP initiative works with only a small number of people each year and aims to accelerate the development of coaches already within the high performance system. The programme is highly valued by sporting governing bodies from across the UK, and following a presentation given by Eley at the event in Leeds, UK Sport Head of Coaching Graham Taylor described the future of British coaching as “in safe hands”.

For the past two years Eley has been worked closely with National Short Track Coach Nicky Gooch as her master coach and their psychologist, Dr. Mike Rotherham as her mentor, at the national team’s base in Nottingham. As one of eleven coaches chosen in 2010, she also attended seven workshops run by UK Sport to help her develop her coaching skills, including communication, coaching preferences and leadership. Eley said:

“Being part of the ECAP 2010/12 cohort has been an amazing experience. The workshops have provided numerous expertise and experiences that have helped me to develop my coaching skills and my understanding of myself and my athletes. They have also created an opportunity to form a lifelong camaraderie with my fellow cohort, from which I hope we can continue to support each other long after the programme has ended.”

In addition to working with staff from GB Short Track and workshops, Eley also utilised support available through the ECAP initiative to fund her higher education. She recently graduated with first class honours from Sheffield Hallam University with a degree in Sports Development with Coaching.

For GB Short Track, her participation in the ECAP initiative will help the team on the road to Sochi 2014. The Performance Director for GBS Short Track Stuart Horsepool described the experience for Eley as invaluable for the future of speed skating in the UK:

“We were delighted that Jo was selected for ECAP. We’ve seen over the last two years how much she has come along and the expertise she’s gained, and it’s not just her it’s helping. The sport will benefit too because she’ll be able to bring through young talent which is not just vital for the Olympics in Sochi but for years to come .”

The experience has been invaluable for Eley, who said: “As a relatively inexperienced coach this chance to develop a formal process for my personal development has been invaluable and coming from a small and winter sport would have been impossible without UK Sport ECAP.”

You can read more about the event in Leeds here:

For more information on GB Short Track, please visit

Created: 29th November 2012 10:34am
Last Updated: 29th November 2012 10:34am
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