Canoe Slalom Head Coach Mark Ratcliffe has joined some of the biggest names in British coaching this week, after graduating from the UK Sport Elite Programme.
Mark was part of a high profile group that undertook a rigorous three-year development programme from 2016-2019. The Elite Programme, which aims to take high performance coaching in the UK to a world leading level, saw nine coaches across a variety of Olympic, Paralympic and non-Olympic sports provided with specialist expertise, technology and experiences to support their development.
Mark said: “I’ve really enjoyed being part of the UK Sport Elite Programme and working with coaches across such a mix of sports.
“For me personally, it has coincided with my transition from technical programme coach to my current leadership role, which has presented new challenges.
“Learning from and working with other coaches dealing with similar pressures from other sports has been really beneficial, and will continue to be as the canoe slalom team looks towards the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.”
The residential training days have seen the coaches placed in challenging environments, including a gathering in Salisbury in January 2019 where they were put through their paces at an army base by charitable organisation Serve On - who provide relief efforts to international communities during times of crisis.
The nine graduates are: Dave Alloway (GB Boxing), Simon Amor (Rugby Football Union), Steve Borthwick (Rugby Football Union), Paula Dunn (British Athletics), Barry Fudge (British Athletics), Mel Marshall (British Swimming), Mark Ratcliffe (British Canoeing), Peter Sheppard (GB Rowing Team) and Gareth Southgate (Football Association).
UK Sport Chair Dame Katherine Grainger said: “Coaches are the crucial backbone of our high-performance system and this group will continue to provide world class support and direction for their athletes, whilst using the knowledge they have shared and gained on the programme to keep making British coaching truly world leading.”