25th September 2020


Today British Athletics bids a fond farewell to the retiring Head of Field and Combined Events, Peter Stanley.

Stanley, who confirmed he would be retiring at this time in April 2019, has had an illustrious career both as a coach and also a developer of coaching talent. The pinnacle of his coaching career was guiding triple jumper Jonathan Edwards to world and Olympic gold medals as well as his 18.29m world record which remains intact to this day.

Following roles within British Athletics as a national coach mentor and also as the strategic lead for coaching, Stanley was appointed to his current position in 2014. Based at the National Performance Institute at Loughborough, his remit was to support, facilitate and influence the athlete coach pairs with a view to improving performances and winning medals.

In 2018, Stanley was awarded the UK Coaching Lifetime Achievement award. It was hoped that this year’s retirement would see him bow out following the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, yet he has fulfilled an equally crucial role as he continued to support athletes throughout the pandemic, ensuring they could access the best support possible throughout lockdown and into the brief 2020 competitive season.

Stanley said:

“2020 has been an exceptionally challenging year. Not just for sport but for everyone. Personal health issues, the death of Neil Black, COVID-19 and the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games have underpinned my decision to retire this month as planned.

“However, the last six months has also been inspiring as I have been privileged to support athletes and their coaches as they created innovative solutions to be able to train regularly and as normally as possible. We have seen some quality performances during these difficult months.

“The determination of the athletes and their coaches to be competition ready is a tribute to their robustness and resilience. They also used these strengths to plan and enable a variety of pathways to be plotted to prepare ahead for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

“This same determination was previously shown by athletes over the last few years and I am sure athletes such as Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Holly Bradshaw, Nick  Miller and many others who improved during 2019 will represent GB & NI with pride and with quality performances at the next Olympic Games.

“I wish to thank all athletes, their personal coaches and all support staff for making my role such an enjoyable experience. I am very much looking forward to spending extra time with family and watching our athletes succeed from home. I wish Christian and Sara the very best in taking the sport forward, and I’m sure British athletes will rise to the challenge ahead.”