Two new talent pathway managers have been appointed at British Canoeing, as the sport turns its focus to Tokyo 2020 and beyond.
With 16 Olympic and six Paralympic medals up for grabs in Tokyo, the investment and support of future talent is crucial to the continued success of the sport on an international level.
Richard Ramsdale and Mark Hoile will take up their newly created positions which form part of the performance team’s 2017-21 strategy. They will oversee the delivery of the England Talent Programme in their respective disciplines of slalom and sprint, and will continue to build on the progress made in its talent pathways.
The pair will continue to shape a sustainable infrastructure for the sport, to support the ambitious long-term international success in both Olympic disciplines and to also inspire the next generation of paddlers through our sport.
On his appointment Richard, who has worked at British Canoeing for nine years, said: “I am thrilled to be appointed to this new role and being in a key position to help drive the development of a world leading talent pathway.
"I am looking forward to working in partnership with key clubs to enhance the young talent coming into the pathway and the amount of athletes training around our key white water venues on a daily basis."
Richard will move from his former role of lead talent identification coach take up the slalom talent pathway manager role. Former international paddler Mark will leave his position as UK lead talent sprint and Girls for Gold coach, to take the sprint talent pathway manager appointment.
Mark said: “I am looking forward to the new challenges this role brings, and believe working with the clubs and developing coaches we can create a stronger pathway to challenge for medals in the future.”
As well as creating opportunities for young paddlers to reach their sporting potential, the talent pathway managers will develop their paddlers’ skills and competencies needed for lifelong enjoyment and participation in the sport.
Paul Ratcliffe, head coach for British Canoeing’s canoe slalom programme, said: “Richard has demonstrated a real depth of understanding for developing young talent as athletes and as people.
“We look forward to seeing him spread his expertise more strategically with key clubs and the evolution of England Talent Pathway to help us build thriving talent system."
Heather Williams, performance manager for canoe sprint, added: “Mark brings a wealth of experience in sprint canoeing and specifically talent development having led our talent ID programmes with great success over the last 10 years.
“I am looking forward to working closely with him to continue to develop a robust and sustainable sprint talent pathway as part of an overarching strategy which unites all our stakeholders within our sprint community.”