Experts gather in Loughborough for inaugural European Throws Conference

Delegates gather in Loughborough for inaugural European Throws Conference

Over 70 delegates from around the world participated in the inaugural European Throws Conference in Loughborough in November 2017.

The first European Throws Conference took place at British Athletics’ National Performance Institute in Loughborough with a plethora of experts sharing their unique insight, knowledge and experience with a global audience.

Held across three days at Loughborough University, six keynote speeches were delivered at the Conference along with practical sessions and a talk on statistics to over 70 delegates with a Q&A involving all speakers to close proceedings.

Consultant hammer coach for British Athletics, Tore Gustafsson, kicked off the speeches with insight into how to take an athlete from good to great before the ‘Father of Functional Sports Training’ Vern Gambetta spoke on developing the complete throwing athlete.

Rene Sack then discussed whether there is a German way to long-term throwing development and success courtesy of his role as the head of women’s discus in Germany and Alex Wolf, Head of Learning at the English Institute of Sport, spoke on coaching and learning.

Dale Stevenson, who guided New Zealand’s Tom Walsh to world shot put gold this year, gave an insight into a global campaign and China’s national javelin coach Garry Calvert concluded the keynote speeches with a talk on the development of young javelin throwers to become champions.

In between the keynote speeches, Gustafsson and Gambetta along with Ryan Spencer Jones - the man behind Paralympic champion Aled Davies - Goldie Sayers’ former mentor Mike McNeill and top British coach Andy Neal delivered practical sessions.

Shaun Pickering, 1996 Olympian and Trustee of the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund, spoke on day two while Ian Tempest gave a statisticians take on the evolution of global trends in throwing before the experts came together for a closing Q&A.

Peter Stanley, Head of Field & Combined Events at British Athletics, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome so many experts with so much experience to our National Performance Institute in Loughborough for the weekend.

“There was a great atmosphere throughout and the speeches and sessions delivered were of a very high quality. I would like to thank everyone for coming and I hope that the Conference helped to build new connections and make pre-existing ones stronger.”

Nick Dakin, Director of Athletics at Loughborough University, said: “It had been over two decades since the last Loughborough Athletics Summer School took place, which in itself gained a worldwide reputation for promoting coaching excellence through the sharing of knowledge which, of course, is highly appropriate for a University.

“I was therefore especially pleased that the European Athletics brought everyone to Loughborough this weekend and I hope the delegates not only benefitted from the experience but took the opportunity to forge further lasting ties with their peers.”