Talent pathway javelin coaches learning from the world’s best

Last month two England Athletics Talent Pathway coaches headed to the Kuortane Olympic Training Centre in Finland to attend the 7th edition of the World Javelin Conference.

Belgrave’s Tom Dobbing and Banbury’s Felicity Dawes represented England at the conference with their jointly funded by European Athletics and England Athletics.

After team managing the Commonwealth Youth Games throws squad out in Trinidad and Tobago last summer, this was a fantastic development opportunity for Tom as he explained:

“Returning to Finland following a 7 year break the World Javelin Conference was an excellent experience. This conference allowed me to return to some deep thinking about the event, refresh my own perceptions and gain some valuable insight into how I can both develop as a coach and importantly enhance the coaching experience for the athletes whom I help."

“Approximately 60 coaches from across Europe, USA, South Africa, and India attended the conference. Notable presentations were delivered by Tom Pukstys (USA 2x Olympian and 87m thrower) on his development project in Alabama, Terseus Liebenberg (South Africa) on his personal coaching journey assisting multiple World and Olympic medallists and Klaus Bartonietz (coach to Olympic Champion Neeraj Chopra) on his coaching philosophy and the javelin progression across India.

“Sessions also delved into biomechanics and injury prevention from the Finnish Sports Institute with an insightful discussion with Magnus Kirt on his throwing evolution from a 2m15 high jumper to a 90m javelin thrower.”

Speaking on her experience, Felicity added:

“Continuous professional development is key for coaches and in particular the knowledge I gained on injury risk and prevention will enhance how I support athletes on the Youth Talent Programme and those back at my club. A key final message from all the presenters was the importance of providing athlete-centred coaching and ensuring we work together as coaches to support our own wellbeing.”

“Overall, an excellent learning experience,” mentioned Tom, “that will only help me as a coach preparing athletes across the pathway. My thanks to England Athletics for enabling my participation at this conference.”

Speaking about the opportunity, Throws Event Group Lead, Nick Ridgeon said:

“It was a privilege to be able to send both Tom and Felicity to Finland to represent England Athletics but also to give them the opportunity to learn from the very best, in state-of-the-art facilities. I am excited to see what they both will achieve alongside their athletes in 2024, putting into practice what they have learned. A special thank you to our partners at European Athletics who helped us to secure two places at the conference.”

Tom Dobbing left top image, Felicity right on bottom image

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