30 September 2009
UKA today announced the appointment of Fayyaz Ahmed as National Event Coach for High Jump and confirmed Toni Minichiello’s position as National Event Coach for Combined Events. The appointments are part of the new performance structure under Head Coach Charles van Commenee and Kevin Tyler, Head of Coaching and Development.
Minichiello, coach to World Heptathlon Champion, Jessica Ennis, will split his time between Sheffield and the National Performance Centre in Loughborough. Ahmed, known as Fuzz, has previously worked as a consultant coach for UKA with athletes including 2008 silver medallist Germaine Mason, Olympian Tom Parsons and a group of emerging athletes including European U23 finalist Jessica Leach.
Minichiello said: “Great Britain has a world class history in Combined Events stemming back 37 years from Mary Peters, Daley Thompson and more recently Denise, Dean and Kelly. Taking up the role enables me to continue my coaching of Jessica Ennis and support of others including the World Youth Champion, Katarina Thompson and our number one junior decathlete Daniel Gardiner through to the London Olympics.
“Having coached Jessica since the age of 11 guiding her from beginner to winner, I believe I am in a unique position to support, promote and understand the needs of an event from grassroots to elite. Being part of the senior performance team will also enable me to have a more influential role in the strategy, direction and development of Combined Events in partnership with the Home Countries and the wider combined events community.”
Ahmed, who is currently Birmingham based, will develop the high jump set up at Loughborough. He said: “The coaching structure of athletics in the UK is undergoing a major overhaul with some proactive changes and I am pleased to be part of that team and vision.
"Being able to coach full time will have short and long term challenges. 2010 will be an exciting year for athletes with the World Indoors, European Championships and Commonwealth Games.
“In the long term, it will be an honour to help broaden the talent, of the next generation of coaches who will be pivotal to the success, our sport is working towards in 2012, 2016 and beyond.”
Commenting on the appointments, van Commenee said: “These appointments continue to fulfill the strategic plans which were put into place earlier this year. It continues the pathway towards realising our ambitions for 2012 and the wider development of the sport.
“Both Toni and Fuzz will firstly be dedicated to the coaching of individual athletes heading towards the games in London and will secondly support Kevin in enhancing the development of the event and the coaching within it.”
Tyler, whose key focus is on enhancing the long term development of the individual athletics disciplines added: “We are gathering some of the best coaches in the sport to work with UK athletes and coaches in an effort to create a successful coach led sport, this is further enhanced by these appointments.”
Since van Commenee’s appointment in early 2009 six National Event Coaches have been appointed in the areas of men’s and women’s sprints, pole vault, triple jump, long jump and hurdles.