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Queensland Athletics Coaches finding a niche

Tuesday, 13 January 2015 | Queensland Athletics



Queensland is lucky to have so many coaches focussing on junior development at the moment. For example, coaches like Antony Drinkwater Newman, Annette Rice and Brian Chapman are just a select few, all focusing on a different angle of our sport and it is proving to be quite successful. With a focus on junior athlete development with a dash of fun, rather than a sole focus on top end elite squads, this training environment has an energetic vibe to be around.

Antony’s coaching accreditations include Level 4 Sprints hurdles and relays, Level 3 Jumps, Throws and did them over a period of 8 years, completing his Level 4 in 2011. His squad now consists of 35-40 athletes and they train across varied afternoons at the Gold Coast Athletics track.“I saw that Athletics was really crying out for coaches to do bulk squads and create fun environments and the demand has proven the observation correct.”

“I think more top end athletes or newly retired athletes should seriously look at doing their coaching accreditation for a start, then link themselves into a club who can then feed them athletes into their training squads and then the squads will build from there.” Drinkwater explains. “A lot of kids and their parents aren’t looking for major technical sessions and heavy training and often they are doing it in the big squad to assist other sports they are playing.” (Are you a junior athlete looking for an athletics coach on the Gold Coast? Contact Ant via his website here

Annette Rice from QEII Track Club runs a double squad most afternoons with juniors at 3.30 and seniors at 4.30. The junior squad consists of youngsters from 10 to 13 learning all the basic skills and having a lot of fun doing it. “By the time they are ready to join the senior squad, most of the hard work has been done and they are hooked on athletics. They generally can’t wait to join the senior group” says Annette. “I have always enjoyed coaching young athletes, it keeps you grounded, and it keeps feeding the senior squad with good athletes." (Are you a jumper/hurdler looking for a coach? Email Annette for more information:

The iconic ‘Chappy’ sessions run in the evenings at QE2, UQ and Macpherson Park (Brackenridge) after a mad one hour dash up the M1 from his Gold Coast and Tweed squads. His Border Striders squads are filled with 50+ junior athletes at each location. His current goal is to qualify 100 of his runners to the Nationals in a single calendar year. Chappy has an incredibly passionate way of coaching and knows all the kids statistics and Personal Bests. New comers are always welcomed into Chappy’s squad and he encouraged them to compete in the QA competitions. (Are you a distance runner wanting to join Chappy’s squad? Contact him here

If you’re thinking of becoming a coach and starting a squad, don’t be intimidated into thinking it’s just for the big shot coaches. All children need guidance and there are many Little Athletics clubs out there who are always looking for club coaches. The next coaching course for Qld Athletics is the 31st of January.

Follow the link to register or to find our more information: