I have served as Team Coach for Jumps for several Scotland International Events
Have worked with Scottish Athletics as National Event Lead, High Jump from 2018-2021
I have been coaching High Jump for over 20 years. I started around 1998 when my 2 children had become involved with High Jumping for Giffnock North AC. Between them, Vicki & Andrew Allan won multiple National Championships and British Championships Medals, as well as many Scottish International Vests.
I started with a small mixed group of GNAC junior High Jumpers, and in the early years brought several through to National Level. The HJ group eventually expanded to include athletes from other clubs and locations and the average age of the group gradually increased too. Arrangements were put in place for younger GNAC athletes to be coached by others, allowing concentration on the older or more talented jumpers, to help them reach their potential.
As my group progressed, I developed with them and went through the levels of Coach Education modules to UKA Level 3 and personally went to work and learn from 2 UKA National HJ Coaches, Terry Lomax and Fuzz Caan, who both had worked with World & Olympic level athletes.
Best things about coaching is seeing the athletes progress as High Jumpers and personally too. There is a requirement on my Squad athletes to demonstrate great sportsmanship to rivals and respect to all officials and volunteers. I have also been lucky to develop many good friendships with fellow Coaches as well as many parents of the groups that I have coached.
I have been so fortunate to experience many highly memorable moments in my Coaching of High Jump.
For those who like statistics, I have coached roughly 25 different athletes to Scottish National Titles and Selections, many of these multiple times. I have coached 7 athletes to British Champions or Podium positions and 3 athletes to Commonwealth Games Selection, with 2 of these also earning GB Selection off these performances.
An early highlight would have to be when David Smith, GNAC, who I coached for 10 years or so (from age 13 to 22) won the British U23 Championships in 2011 with a great new PB of 2.22m, which qualified him for the U23 European Championships – this was really our first breakthrough into elite performance, and set the standards going forward. David later became the first GNAC athlete to be selected for the Commonwealth Games, held in Glasgow in 2014.
I also coached Nikki Manson from 2007 to 2018, including when she cleared a new PB (and at that time a Scottish Indoor Record) of 1.90m, which qualified Nikki for selection for Team Scotland for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast, Australia and for Team GB for the 2018 European Championships, Berlin. David Smith was also selected for these 2 major competitions.
It was quite an incredible achievement for myself and Giffnock North AC to see 2 athletes progressing from the youngest juniors in the Club all the way through to selection for the same Senior Scotland & GB Teams. The fact that I was able to get over to Australia to watch and support them was an amazing opportunity and experience for me personally.
Perhaps worth noting that over the years, both athletes have happily paraded their yellow & blue GNAC Vests all around the UK and across Europe.