12th February 2018


British Athletics hosted a Seated Throws Coach Forum last month, as a number of the coaches and athletes (retired and current) gathered to share best practise and open a discussion to increase the number and quality of seated throwers in the UK.

The main idea of the forum was to bring together expertise from the seated throws community to improve the events pathway and provide the best support to discover and nurture the next Paralympic champions in the seated throws.

Coaches were invited to Loughborough for a series of workshops, practical sessions and open forums which act as a starting point to explore coaching development, athlete pathways and knowledge sharing in the seated throws events. Coaches contributed constructive suggestions to seek improvement in the years ahead and their feedback will be taken into account for the strategy in this area.

A number of sessions were held over the weekend including a discussion on seated throws rules which was a two-way conversation between two World Para Athletics International Technical Officials, Jon Mason and Roger Blade, and the invited forum. Other areas discussed were national classification, biomechanics and developing a robust athlete, the latter delivered by the para athletics lead physio and strength and condition coach.

Practical sessions were also conducted by current athlete and coach pairings, multiple Paralympic and world medallist Stephen Miller and Ros Miller, as well as world finalist Vanessa Wallace and Alison O’Riordan.

Organiser of the Forum, Katie Jones, the Paralympic Podium Potential Manager at British Athletics, commented:

“It was a really positive weekend with a number of constructive discussions, which in the long-term, we hope will continue to improve the pathway for seated throwers in the UK.

“A number of key areas were highlighted which we will include in our strategy for the next cycle and we have a commitment to running more of these sessions over the coming years to continue the consultation process with these coaches to deliver the best results.”

Jane Wareing, who coaches a small group of seated throwers in at the Stevenage & Herts Phoenix club, added:

“I found it incredibly useful and informative. It was really great to have the opportunity to meet and talk to other coaches and learn from them. Speaking to the athletes was really helpful too.

“The presentations were very good and the information I gained was very useful. It has given me greater confidence in my coaching. I was pleased that the organisers set the rules for a supportive exchange with everyone having a voice as it can be quite intimidating being in a room of extremely experienced people when I am relatively very new.”

Stephen Miller, a member of the UKA Athletes Commission, commented on the forum:

“It was great to be invited to the recent British Athletics Seated Throws Coach Forum held at Loughborough. Seated throws has seen a decline in terms of the number of athletes competing for the British team in recent years, so I’m really pleased to see British Athletics putting some resources into developing seated throws.

“Having so many experienced coaches and athletes come together to discuss the issues and share ideas around developing seated throws was really positive. There were many stimulating presentations and demonstration over the weekend covering training, officiating, classification and coaching – these helped facilitate passionate conversations. Hopefully this is the starting point of developing seated throws and making the British team a force once again.”