Kent Coaching News

Last amended at 28-09-19

Coaching Secretary - Stella Bandhu   07960 371958                  coaching@kcaa.org.uk

England Athletics Coach and Athlete training days for 2019/20:





Kent and Medway Athletics Network organise a series of inclusive coach development workshops covering generic and specific topics. The primary focus of these is coach development although athletes are often invited along too to help with demonstrations.

Our 2019 programme will be published here and on the KCAA Facebook page

We are keen to respond to requests for workshops or flying coach visits to your own club/s. If you have an idea for an event, please email Alison Strange (Kent and Medway Athletics Network Coaching Workshops Organiser coachdevelopment.kan@gmail.com 

Recent News

Date: 7 July 2015

Sprints and Hurdles Workshop help Dartford Harriers celebrate refurbished track.

Dartford Harriers Athletics Club recently a hosted sprints and hurdles workshop for coaches. The half day workshop focused on covering the basics of hurdling, sprint starts, the biomechanics of running and multi-direction movement skills.

The session was led by coach June Plews, who has coached at all levels of the sport from county up to international level. She has developed athletes to all levels and has taken athletes as far as Euro Juniors, world Youths and World Juniors.

The workshop was organised by Kent and Medway Athletics Network at the request of Dartford Harriers. “Several of our coaches wanted to develop their knowledge of sprints and hurdles and they really enjoyed this opportunity.“ said Dartford Harriers Chairperson Clare Capon.


Date: 16 July 2014

Wheelchair Racing ‘Flying Coach Visit’ - Sunday 13th July 2014

5 coaches from across the Kent and Medway Athletics Network attended an introduction to Disability Athletics and Wheelchair Racing at the Julie Rose Stadium in Ashford on Sunday 13th July.

The workshop was led by Nicole Evans who until recently worked as an Athletics Activator for England Athletics in London.  She has competed in wheelchair racing distances of 100m up to 3miles and came 7th in the Mini London Marathon in 2004. She now coaches wheelchair-based athletes herself and lectures in Sports Psychology.

Nicole started with a theory session where we discussed appropriate terminology (e.g athletes who are ‘wheelchair users’ rather than being ‘wheelchair bound’. Coaches also had a brief intro to the biomechanics and physiology of wheelchair racing as well as the psychology and classifications system. Now I understand what all those T numbers from the Paralympics meant! T31-34 categories are wheelchair based athletes with cerebral palsy or a neurological disability while the T51-54 classification covers those with spinal cord injuries or amputees.

We then headed out to the track for an introduction to the racing wheelchair, tips on helping athletes get in and out of the chair, optimal seating position and use of the compensator (for going round bends). Nicole also covered recommended strength and conditioning exercises using resistance bands and medicine ball to help athletes adjust to the demands of wheelchair racing.

Ashford AC Coach, Janine Brown commented "Thoroughly enjoyed the workshop. The classification system is much clearer to me now that Nicole has explained it. I’m looking forward to the next workshop."

All participants felt more confident about supporting and coaching their disabled athletes after the session and a follow up workshop is planned for later in the year where Nicole will run through a full session plan on the track.


Date: 3 April 2014


Over fifty coaches and endurance athletes from across Kent attended an evening with Mara Yamauchi held at Sevenoaks School on Monday 31st March. Most of the audience, tapering for a spring marathon, were keen to pick the brains of Great Britain’s second fastest ever female over the marathon distance (after Paula Radcliffe).

Mara holds a marathon PB of 2:23:12 and has competed at 2 Olympic Games; London 2012 and Beijing 2008 (where she came 6th).

Although a late entrant into the marathon event (she didn’t take up serious training until the age of 29), Mara started by stressing the importance of an active childhood. She spent her early life in Kenya and benefited from a healthy outdoor lifestyle. She vividly remembers watching the 1984 Olympics from Los Angeles and dreaming of becoming an Olympian one day herself.

“Looking after the basics”

Quality training is just one facet of becoming a successful marathoner. Mara supports a holistic approach paying attention to adequate rest, good nutrition, injury prevention and the importance of making the right lifestyle choices. Practical support from those close to you is also vital and soon after she began serious training, Mara’s Japanese husband Shigetoshi became her coach.

Mara spent a large part of her life as a professional athlete living and training in Japan. She described the incredible work ethic of Japanese athletes who regularly run 160 miles per week supported by the company teams of large corporations such as Nissan and Toyota. She also recommended some Japanese delicacies as ideal pre-race fuel; Udon noodles for dinner followed by bowls of rice and Miso soup (the high salt content helps the body to retain water) on the morning of the race.

“Know your body”

Mara would target 2 marathons per year and described a typical day during a period of intense training. Upon waking, the first task would be to take her pulse since a raised heart rate would indicate that her body was fighting an illness. Listening to your body and knowing when to take it easy is important. After a coffee and a small breakfast, training would start at 9am with the first run of the day. Once complete, she’d take an ice bath, eat lunch and then sleep for 1-2 hours. The second training session of the day might be a gym workout, swim, bike session or an easier jog. After a massage and dinner, it would be time for bed.

 Mara would undertake strength and conditioning work twice a week to build strength (helping her to maintain good form in the latter stages of a marathon) as well as preventing injury. Specific exercises would include squats, step ups, plank and core work using a medicine ball.

“Feeling confident at your marathon pace is really important”

On preparing for the all-important race, Mara advises taking care of all the logistical details in advance so you don’t waste valuable mental energy worrying about whether you have bought the right gels or if your new running shoes will give you blisters! As well as tempo runs and interval training, she stressed the importance of completing large sections of the long run at marathon pace.

Coaches and athletes were then given ample opportunity to ask Mara questions and seek advice on their on their own marathon goals. When asked “what next” following her retirement from elite competition in January 2013, Mara replied that she is currently completing her ‘Athletics Coach’ qualification with England Athletics and still runs 4-5 times per week for enjoyment and to stay healthy. She is also developing a freelance career as a speaker and writer.

For more information, please contact Alison Strange (Kent Athletics Network) on 07766 337129 or coachdevelopment.kan@gmail.com


Alison Strange
Kent and Medway Athletics Network Coaching Workshop Organiser
07766 337129

3 May 2012

England Athletics, UKA and the other home country governing bodies are alert to our responsibilities to all participants in athletics in respect of all aspects of health and safety. One particular area that young athletes and their parents must be aware of is the risk of cardiac problems.

There have been instances of young athletes suffering potentially fatal heart conditions without being aware that they are at risk.

England Athletics would like to make you aware of a piece of work that has been undertaken by UKA. UKA has worked with Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) for several years, providing a screening service to athletes on the World Class Performance Programme. UKA and CRY are now seeking to encourage more athletes to use CRY’s screening service to help to identify any cardiac problems that may be otherwise hidden.

CRY is a charity that was established to raise awareness of conditions that can lead to the sudden cardiac death of young people. They operate a screening programme at a number of clinics around the UK and support this with mobile units that travel to other locations.

Full information about CRY and their services can be found on their website at www.c-r-y.org.uk . Young people between the age of 14 and 35 who would like to have cardiac testing can go to www.testmyheart.org .
You can also see www.uka.org.uk/governance/health-safety/cardiac-screening-for-athletes/  for information on work being done by UKA in this area.


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