Winchester expert Richard helps put cycling and wheelchair rugby coaches on the path to success

3 May 2023
Line up of sports coaches in front of UCI sign

A University of Winchester expert in sports coaching has been focusing on two very different wheeled events recently – cycling and wheelchair rugby.

In both Richard Cheetham MBE, Senior Fellow in Sports Coaching, has been using his holistic approach to coach the coaches.

In March he travelled to the UCI World Cycling Centre in Switzerland accompanied by two coaches from the British Cycling Scholarship Programme. This was part of their development and during their course Richard was able to share with them the work he does at the centre.

Nathaniel Martin and Shahina Chandoo joined 11 other coaches from a variety of countries including Israel, Hungary and Italy who were gaining their International Level 3 UCI coaching diploma. 

“I wanted Nathaniel and Shahina to learn more about the different ways we can approach coaching and coach development, guided by key elements which constitute an effective learning environment where all can flourish. From yoga to jigsaws and graffiti to Lego, I believe it opened their eyes to new ideas and ways of teaching. Remember not all classrooms have walls!”

People standing on one leg in yoga session

In the case of yoga, Richard asked the cycling scholars to learn two yoga moves each and then teach the rest of the group. They were set these new challenges to see how they adapted to something new.

“If you can’t understand how people learn you can’t coach effectively,” he explained.

Richard is also preparing a coaching framework for GB wheelchair rugby – a sport at which GB are Olympic champions but which is need of an extended coaching pathway from grassroots to elite level. During the pandemic he worked with coaches in preparation for the Tokyo games, from which GB returned with gold for the first time.

“At the moment you could have someone coaching the GB team who has the same level of qualifications as someone coaching a beginners’ team,” said Richard, who has previously designed courses for UK Coaching and England Rugby.

He is developing the pathway alongside Steven Mitchell, Director of Sporting People and Justin Price, formerly of the FA.

It is expected the new programme will be adopted in September.

Pictured top: Richard (second from left) with the cycling coaches at the UCI World Cycling Centre in Switzerland.

Pictured above: Cycle scholars perform the yoga exercise set for them by Richard.

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