In 2014 the UCI’s Coaching Experts gave courses throughout the world to some 275 coaches. During a two-day seminar at the UCI World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland, they shared their experiences, exchanged knowledge and came away well-armed for their next missions.
“It was also a way of saying thank you to this group of dedicated, committed coaches who so willingly travel, many of them during their annual leave, to other countries to pass on their knowledge and expertise,” said UCI WCC High Performance Manager Belinda Tarling.
“The courses they give across all continents help raise the level of coaching in those areas and have very positive knock-on effects for the development of cycling.”
The Experts are qualified coaches who work with high-level athletes in their own countries. Most of them also have qualifications as tutors or assessors. The UCI WCC works in close collaboration with the National Federations and Olympic Solidarity to organise the courses which last year were held in 14 countries on four continents.
French coach Gérard Pegon has been training coaches abroad since 1989. During his first mission in Algeria he was asked how an athlete should train during Ramadan.
“Depending which continent and which culture you find yourself in, the coaching can be quite different,” explains Pegon. “It is enriching and difficult at the same time. Before a mission I always find out about the country’s history and politics. You have to adapt to the country.”
Course participants without bikes, classrooms equipped with only a piece of broken chalk…. Gérard Pegon has encountered it all. He has carried out numerous missions in Madagascar, in very different conditions from those he encountered in the idyllic setting of his latest course in Mauritius. But wherever he goes, he comes back enriched: “For me it’s a passion.”
And he shared that passion with 11 other Experts from eight countries who attended the seminar at the UCI World Cycling Centre on January 23 and 24. They talked about the difficulties they encounter in different countries, training techniques they found have worked, and how to adapt to different situations.
For example Great Britain’s Scott Bugden carried out his first mission in Barbados last October. The 14 coaches came to his course every evening after work. As it was dark and cycling too dangerous, Scott Bugden had to innovate for the practical sessions: he organised a walking road race one evening and a Madison walking race another night.
He appreciated the chance to attend the two-day seminar: “I never say no when it comes to joining a group of coaches and sharing experiences,” he said.
The Experts have now set up a network through which they will continue to pass on knowledge and help each other.
“It was an extremely positive and useful seminar,” said Belinda Tarling. “It is very important that these coaches feel valued for the incredible work they carry out for the development of cycling worldwide.”
You must be logged in to post a comment.