Jemma Bates National Official and Zac Kerin International Coach

 

Zac Kerin with his athletes Naomi Ogbeta and Emily Wright in the stadium at Cali, Colombia
Zac Kerin with his athletes Naomi Ogbeta and Emily Wright in the stadium at Cali, Colombia

Two of BAC‘s officials have been on national and international stages recently, namely Jemma Bates, who was an Official at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, in the Olympic Stadium, London, on 24-26 July, and Zac Kerin, who was one of GB‘s Coaches at the U18 World Championships in the Olympic Stadium in Cali, Colombia, South America on 15-19 July.

Jemma Bates was one of the National Officials helping to ensure the success of the London 2012 Olympics
Jemma Bates was one of the National Officials helping to ensure the success of the London 2012 Olympics

Anyone watching the Anniversary Games on television would have seen Jemma, on a number of occasions, as one of the team of Officials ensuring that the Games went smoothly.  Only the highest qualified, experienced and competent officials are chosen for events such as this,  and, when it comes to experience, there must be few who can match that of Jemma, who has officiated at the highest level, including the Olympic Games themselves in London, for many years now.  We are very proud of Jemma, who combines her officials’ duties with coaching, including the very busy Wednesday Junior Development Evenings, and competing.  Jemma was seen on television on the same screen as none other than Usain Bolt, and attempts by Jemma to deny it was her fell on very deaf ears!

Zac Kerin's pass
Zac Kerin’s pass

As has already been reported, Zac Kerin was selected to be one of the GB coaches at the 2015 U18 World Championships, held in Cali, Colombia.  We at BAC are well aware of Zac‘s coaching ability, and, although, as will be seen below, Zac describes himself as ‘lucky’ to be selected, we know that his selection was the result of ability and hard work, and we are very proud of him.  Zac‘s coaching talent was proved in South America by the success of one of his athletes, Emily Wright, who started out ranked 15th, but finished up missing a long jump Bronze Medal by 1 cm.  Zac and the team of coaches (helped, of course, the athletes themselves!) led the GB team to be the top European team, in terms of points, and fourth team worldwide.   This is how Zac himself describes his experience….

“Colombia was a great honour for me! I was selected out of over 40 other horizontal coaches within the national horizontal jumps programme which I truly appreciate and am very lucky!
The reason for selection is I’m told that British Athletics see great potential and a future for me working with them and England athletics…

“Colombia was a huge test of character for me with the competition being a huge event and I knew I had to perform as a coach with so much reliance on me from all the staff, my two jumpers and their coaches back home in the UK…
It was really challenging because I had to develop a good solid relationship between myself and the athletes within a very small amount of time – so that they would trust me and my advise and ultimately my decisions!
I had to help them through the nerves, technically, emotionally being a replacement coach is very difficult but I felt it went really well and successful!

Naomi Ogbeta
Naomi Ogbeta

“Naomi’s (Naomi Ogbeta – Triple Jump) build up was suburb but unfortunately her nerves got the better of her on the big day with her run up and her technical awareness falling apart! She was jumping big distances in training leading up to the competition and we knew she had an excellent chance of a medal but wasn’t to be… She came joint 12th but did jump the fourth furthest she has ever jumped but we both knew this wasn’t a true reflection on what she should have jumped. She was extremely emotional and upset when the competition had ended and I had to console her for well over an hour!

Emily Wright
Emily Wright

“Emily’s (Emily Wright – Long Jump) build up was quite the opposite with carrying injuries into the trip and not able to train as we would have liked to, also she picked up a neck cramp injury when sleeping one evening which also lost a few sessions!
We had to really rely on the British athletic medic team whilst out there to perform some miracles on her and therefore Emily and I were only given one training session together!
In the qualifiers she was ropey but managed to finish 10th to just about scrape through to the finals… I didn’t like her run up and I spoke about changing her run up for the final? I said to her that if we don’t change it then she would come about 10-12th in the final but if we changed it then I think she could maybe get a medal?
Her coach back home in the UK and the team leader gave me licence to do so and Emily fully committed herself to the cause…
In the competition she jumped a new PB of 6.22m in the 1st round which lead the competition for 2 rounds! Because of her fitness and lack of build up preparation she didn’t quite better her 1st round jump and slowly slipped down to bronze medal position until the 6th round where another competitor pushed her down to 4th by 1cm! Gutted but still really pleased with having achieved a PB and coming 4th in the World championships which really wasn’t expected!

Emily Wright and Naomi Ogbeta soak up the atmosphere of the U18 World Championships
Emily Wright and Naomi Ogbeta soak up the atmosphere of the U18 World Championships

“I absolutely loved the experience and I am hoping to get selected for future major world champs for British Athletics.

“Thanks to my loyal athletes back home at Bournemouth Athletic Club and my family and friends in supporting me through all that I do”

GB's U18 Squad World Championships, Colombia - Zac Kerin, left
GB’s U18 Squad World Championships, Colombia – Zac Kerin, left