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british athletics introduces futures generation

Hayley McLean

4 November 2013

Seven gold medallists from the 2013 European Junior and World Youth Championships have been invited to join the British Athletics Futures Programme for 2013-14.

Rieti quintet Hayley Mclean (coach: Steve Mitchell), Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (Dennis Shaver), Elliot Safo (John Shepherd), Zak Seddon (Jeff Seddon), Jake Wightman (Geoff Wightman) and Donetsk duo Sabrina Bakare (Jane Dixon) and Harry Coppell (John Mitchell) are amongst the 28 athlete-coach pairings.

The Futures Programme - which underpins the World Class Performance Programme (WCPP) - was created five years ago to provide more targeted support for young talented athletes and their coaches.

It focuses on athletes who show the potential to ultimately achieve future success at the IAAF World Championships or Olympic Games, have the potential to be selected to the WCPP within two years and are typically in the 17- 20 age range, but with flexibility towards athletes who are deemed an exceptional case for support.

Desiree Henry (Rana Reider) and Sophie Papps (Dan Cossins) are retained on the programme for a further year following their silver medal performances at the European Juniors.

A total of five athletes previously supported by the 2012-13 Futures Programme have progressed to the 2013-14 World Class Performance Programme, including World 4x100m bronze medallist Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie), pole vaulter Lucy Bryan (Charles Preston), European Under 23 bronze medallist Laura Muir (Andy Young), European Under 23 100m gold medallist Jodie Williams (Christine Bowmaker) and European Junior silver medallist Sophie McKinna (Geoff Capes).

British Athletics Head of Coaching Peter Stanley said:

“The British Athletics Futures Programme is evidently going strength to strength. Year on year we are seeing an encouraging number of athletes progressing onto the World Class Performance Programme.

“This year British Athletics is supporting our second highest intake of athlete and coach pairings since the inauguration of the Futures programme. We believe this is a strong group of talented athletes. The programme works closely with athletes and their coaches to provide the right support both on and off the track to improve their results and raise their profile.”

British Athletics’ Development Manager Jo Jennings said:

“The aim of the Futures Programme is to support the next generation of champions and their coaches. We are delighted to assist the 28 athletes and coach pairings with their development plans and aid their future success.

“By providing athletes financial assistance and medical support, as well as coach development funding, the programme will help athletes follow in the footsteps of previous Futures athletes such as Robbie Grabarz, Holly Bleasdale, Andrew Pozzi, Danny Talbot and Emelia Gorecka.

“Dina Asher-Smith is a role model for this group of Futures athletes. Only last year she was on this programme and now she is a World Championships bronze medallist on the World Class Performance Programme.

“By supporting pairs around their own programmes, allowing for more flexibility and better distribution of resources, this will be to the benefit of the sport in future years.”

British Athletics Futures Programme 2013-14

Sabrina Bakare (Jane Dixon), George Caddick (Clyde Hart/Dominic Tighe), Bobby Clay (Peter Mullervy), Harry Coppell (John Mitchell), Jonathan Davies (Rob McKim), Ojie Edoburun (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo), Desiree Henry (Rana Reider), Jamie Higgins (Andi Drake), Matthew Hudson-Smith (Tony Hadley), Harry Hughes (Mike McNeill), Shannon Hylton (John Blackie), David King (James Hillier), Morgan Lake (Eldon Lake), Kyle Langford (George Harrison), Hayley McLean (Steve Mitchell), Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (Denis Shaver), David Omoregie (Mike Guest), Samuel Osewa (Leon Baptiste), Sophie Papps (Dan Cossins), Jacob Paul (Marina Armstrong), Nick Percy (John Hillier), Reece Prescod (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo), Elliot Safo (John Shepherd), Feron Sayers (Femi Akinsanya), Zak Seddon (Jeff Seddon), Thomas Somers (Geoffrey Barraclough), Jake Wightman (Geoff Wightman).