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UK athletics system ‘the envy of the world’


Olympic medallist Steve Cram MBE has described the UK athletics system as the ‘envy of the world’ as competitors enter the critical stages of their preparation for the 2012 London Games.

At a guest lecture at the University of Wolverhampton, Steve described the vital role coaches and mentors have in the success of individual athletes and teams.

The event at the Wolverhampton City Campus was attended by students, staff and invited guests.Steve Cram MBE and Professor Geoff Layer

Olympic silver medallist Steve said: “We have such a good training system in the UK now. The athletes have had a personal coach and mentor, a nutritionist, a physiotherapist, psychologists, performance analysts – people who understand high performance and the individual athlete.

“No-one does it on their own – the coaching, mentoring and support systems are there for a reason. The people that draw on them the most, get the most out of them. The British system is the envy of the world now.”

Steve, who is now the BBC’s chief athletics commentator, spoke about his early career and the influential role of his own coach, Jimmy Hedley, in his success.

He added that this summer’s Olympic Games would be a ‘fabulous’ event for the country.

“Whether you have tickets or not, it is going to be a fabulous Games. It never fails to take the country that is hosting it by surprise.

“The atmosphere in London will be fantastic.”

Steve and the University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Geoff Layer, who are both Sunderland fans, were presented with Wolves football shirts at the lecture yesterday (Thursday, 19 January 2012).

Professor Layer said: “We were delighted to welcome Steve to Wolverhampton to talk about the impact of coaches and mentors on his successful career. Steve is an inspirational figure to many and I’m sure everyone enjoyed hearing his insights into this summer’s Olympic Games.”

During his career, Steve Cram set world records in the 1500 metres, 2000 metres and the mile and was the first man to run 1500 metres in under three minutes and 30 seconds.

Notable achievements include winning the 1500 metres gold medal at the 1983 World Championships and also the 1500 metres silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games.

Voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1983, Steve is now the BBC's chief athletics commentator.

He is also Chancellor of the University of Sunderland and an Ambassador for Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank.


Picture: Steve Cram MBE and the University of Wolverhampton’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Geoff Layer, were presented with Wolves football shirts at the lecture.

For more information please contact Vickie Warren in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322736

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

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