Monday, 20 September 2010
Road to Delhi: The Challenge of Continuous Improvement...
With an average age of 21.4 the team is definitely going to be around again for Glasgow 2014, which can only be progress for the sport. I have worked with the two experienced members of the team throughout the year who have been great in terms of supporting the younger athletes and I’m sure James and Kelly will continue to mentor and support the younger members on camp, before getting down to the business on getting on the start lists for the middle distance finals. Let’s hope lots of 15/16 year olds watching on tv in NI are inspired to make the next team.
Ciara, Amy and Christine have already brought home plenty of medals from major age group competitions so that should stand them in good stead for this new task. Having a decathlete in the squad is great in terms of drama and excitement. I worked with Louise Hazel at the 2005 Europeans and one minute you’re smashing a PB in the hurdles and the next you’re facing a pressure last jump in the long jump to stay alive. It’s like a mini soap opera.
For those of you that were unfortunate enough to see me in a vest and shorts you’ll know how much I love the 4x400m. My fondest moments in athletics as an athlete came in relays, and most of my friends were members of those teams either for Irish Universities, Northern Ireland or my club City of Lisburn. There is a nucleus of a top class squad here that if we add to it can become one of our strongest events at the next two games in 2014 and 2018. I’m looking forward to watching the team unit develop on camp and at the end of the athletics programme for some big PB splits as a fantastic end to the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
I’m grateful to get the opportunity to support the squad over the next three weeks. Thanks to Athletics NI for the foresight in providing a preparation camp in Portugal. The weather has turned recently and as you can see from Stephens blog it’s difficult to get quality work in. Over the last 17 years I have travelled to camps/ golf holidays in Portugal many times. It’s a great country and blessed with excellent athletics facilities (and golf courses!)along the Algarve.
A couple of weeks hard work and it’s time to shine. Keep the messages of support coming through!
Assistant Team Coach, Delhi 2010
Also launched is the new NI Commonwealth Games Council website which is currently being developed. A sneak preview is available to view at- http://www.nicgc.org/ . Over the coming days it will provide information relating to athletes, venues, competition schedules etc. You will also be able to keep up to date with the latest news by joining us on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube.