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Husband and wife coaching team: Caroline Yarnell and Tony Wong

Husband and wife coaching team: Caroline Yarnell and Tony Wong

Sydney Striders is one of Australia original and most successful running clubs. A key pair in the development of this running institution has been the husband and wife coaching team of Run C&T - Caroline Yarnell and Tony Wong.

Monday, 26 February 2018/Author: David Tarbotton & Ron Bendall/Number of views (1881)/Comments (0)/
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Lindsay Watson - what an impact

Lindsay Watson - what an impact

Over the last couple of decades, Lindsay Watson has been one of the most curial coaches in the development of athletics, athletes and coaches in NSW.

Sunday, 3 December 2017/Author: David Tarbotton & Ron Bendall/Number of views (3098)/Comments (0)/
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Mel’s move into coaching

Mel’s move into coaching

It is fascinating to learn how coaches started their careers. In this article with South Coast coach, Mel Mustapic we learn how she always had a passion for the sport and assisting and encouraging others. After a few years it became more formal when she started a squad. As a country coach she highlights the need to be able to coach across events. Mel’s coaching is a legacy and tribute to great NSW John Atterton, who passed away in 2016.

Sunday, 3 December 2017/Author: David Tarbotton & Ron Bendall/Number of views (2185)/Comments (0)/
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Sporting Schools coaching with Andrew Byrne

Sporting Schools coaching with Andrew Byrne

Andrew Byrne is one of our NSW’s coaches helping deliver athletics to a different group of school children. He is one of our valued coaches in the Australian Sports Commission funded Sporting Schools Program. In this article he provides an understanding of this program and recalls a couple of rewarding moments for him as a coach which highlight the power of sport on wellbeing and confidence. Read more about this program here and his journey. Thanks Andrew for making a difference in the lives of these athletes.

Sunday, 5 November 2017/Author: David Tarbotton & Ron Bendall/Number of views (2264)/Comments (0)/
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Spark for Sarkies

Spark for Sarkies

An interest to help people was all the spark RICHARD SARKIES needed to graduate from regular runner into coaching. A small group of athletes grew into a squad and club called ‘Hooked on Running’. Read about Richard’s development, motivation and philosophies as a coach and some practical advice to coaching colleagues.

Sunday, 17 September 2017/Author: David Tarbotton & Ron Bendall/Number of views (3644)/Comments (0)/
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Other Articles
Fasttrack400 induction launch

Fasttrack400 induction launch

In a rare reunion both NSW Open 400m record holders, Darren Clark and Maree Holland, came together to share their knowledge at the “meet & greet” induction of invitees to the Athletics NSW Fasttrack400 coaching and mentoring program on Sunday 20 May.
Wednesday, 23 May 2018/Author: Athletics NSW Administrator/Number of views (195)/Comments (0)/
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Coaching, Sports Science & Sports Medicine
Coaching pioneer Dawes

Coaching pioneer Dawes

Author: David Tarbotton & Ron Bendall/Wednesday, 28 February 2018/Categories: Coaching, Coaching Articles

28 February 2018

Coaching pioneer Dawes

Andrew Dawes is undoubtedly one of Australia’s finest ever coaches. His early work has been pioneering, setting the standard and a pathway for others to follow. His athletes have included three of the world’s finest Louise Sauvage, Kurt Fearnley and Christie Dawes.

 

Andrew Dawes was a PE trained teacher, but through his work in sports administration he identified a need for para-athlete coaching.

“I was employed in sports administration for NSW Wheelchair Sports, and always had an interest in coaching and identified that lots of competition opportunities were available for wheelchair athletes but no regular coaching programs were available.”

Seeing this need Dawes jumped into action, filling a void.

“I started off coaching a group of youngsters after work on a Wednesday evening and then we added a Friday evening and it just grew and grew.  Eventually this after work coaching hobby grew into a full-time job for me and I have been living the dream ever since.”

He has now been coaching at the NSW Academy of Sport, NSW Institute of Sport and Athletics Australia coach for over 20 years.

 

He treasures his role as a coach and the friendships formed.     

“The relationships you establish with athletes you coach are life lasting.  You see each other so regularly and experience many highs and lows that they become part of your extended family.” 

 

Coaching is certainly no office job.

“The lifestyle is good, I enjoy the outdoors so to be able to work in an environment that is not a 9-5 workplace setting is a big bonus.”

 

Dawes, like so many of our coaches, has a strong passion for the work. 

“I have been coaching professionally now for 20 years but I have never seen it solely as a form of employment, it’s just a part of my life and something I love. If I won the lottery tomorrow I wouldn’t change a thing.”

That said Dawes understands coaching can be all consuming and ensures a balance.

“I don’t take life (including your athletics) too seriously. Your first priority must still be to enjoy what you do and everything else follows after this. I believe in the benefits of life balance, if you work hard at what you do you can allow yourself to enjoy or indulge yourself once in a while.”

 

During his highly successful coaching career he has guided some of the world’s finest athletes, but he notes, as all coaches know, he has also learnt from them too.

“My coaching mentors have largely been my athletes. I have learnt just as much from them if not more than I have passed on to them. And if I work as hard as they do then success usually follows.”

 

There have been many career highlights during his coaching career, but Dawes narrowed it to three for us:

  • Louise Sauvage winning the 1998 Boston Marathon.  She was approximately 150 metres behind with 800 metres to go and won by centimetres on the finish line over her arch rival Jean Driscoll from the USA.

  • Kurt Fearnley winning his first Gold medal in the 2004 Athens Paralympics after commencing coaching him from 15 years in 1997.

  • Christie Dawes, his wife, winning a bronze medal in the 5000m at the London Paralympics.  This was her first individual medal and it was her fifth Paralympics.  

 

Dawes has grown enormously as a coach over the last two decades and provided a key to his success.

“Don’t be afraid to take a risk and back yourself. Self-confidence is the key to most success including coaching.  Early on in my coaching career when I had limited experience and knowledge I was asked by Louise Sauvage to coach her. In reality I didn’t have the experience to work with such a high calibre elite athlete. But I went home and thought this is an opportunity of a lifetime and if she thinks I can do it well I’ll work hard and learn on the run and make sure I don’t let her down.”

 

David Tarbotton for Athletics NSW

Image: Kurt Fearnley and Andrew Dawes (image courtesy of David Tarbotton)

 
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