Network your way to Olympic success

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THE coach who helped Teesside rower Kat Copeland win Olympic gold will be sharing the secrets of his success at a special networking event in Hartlepool next week.

James Harris, talent development coach for the GB Rowing Team, will be keynote speaker at the event which is open to coaches, leaders, teachers, volunteers and others involved in delivering or developing sport and physical activity across Tees Valley and County Durham.

He will be joined by representatives from Newcastle Falcons, sports scientists from Teesside University, Sport England’s Club Leaders and Sports Coach UK.

There will be a series of workshops covering issues such as coaching performance, coaching for fun, running a club, running an event safely, developing athletes and SAQ (speed, agility and quickness).

The event is to be held from 6-9pm on Wednesday, December 5, at Hartlepool Sixth Form College, as part of the on-going drive to recruit the next generation of sports coaches and leaders.

It is being organised by the Hartlepool Coach, Leader and Volunteer Development Group whose members include Hartlepool Borough Council, Hartlepool Sixth Form College, Hartlepool College of Further Education, all of the town’s secondary schools, Cleveland Fire Brigade and Tees Valley Sports.

Gemma Ptak, senior sport and physical activity co-ordinator with Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “We are delighted to have secured the attendance of James who has coached a string of successful athletes, most notably Kat Copeland.

“He has great experience and I am delighted that he is coming along to share this with fellow coaches, leaders andvolunteers”

Attendance at the event costs £10 per delegate (£5 for those aged 14-16) and further information is available from Gemma Ptak at or you can contact her on (01429) 284047.

The Hartlepool Coach, Leader and Volunteer Development Group exists to help develop the skills of existing coaches and recruit new coaches, whilst encouraging young people – those under the age of 16 cannot become coaches – to acquire leadership skills. The group also promotes sport-related volunteering opportunities.

The networking event will also see the formal unveiling of the group’s new logo – a jigsaw design featuring the slogan “become part of our team” – which has been produced by Lisa McGrath, 19, a graphic design student at Cleveland College of Art and Design in Hartlepool who comes from Eston, near Middlesbrough. Her winning
design was submitted as part of a competition which attracted seven