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Hockey coach closer to Olympic dream
4:44pm Monday 30th December 2013 in Sport
HASLINGTON’S Mark Bateman moved a step closer to achieving his dream of coaching hockey at the Olympics after receiving a cash grant for coaching excellence.
The 28-year-old, of Russell Drive, was among 50 coaches awarded a Gillette Great Start Grant in celebration of tireless efforts helping individuals and clubs in sport.
Bateman – currently studying for a master’s degree in coaching at the University of Central Lancashire – coaches year seven pupils at Sandbach School, which he also attended.
And he is pleased to be giving something back after being awarded the £250 Gillette grant.
“I owe a lot to the school.,” he said. “They asked me to come back and assist with PE and the coaching came from there – it gave me the direction I wanted to go in.
“I am passionate about coaching and would love to do it in an Olympic programme – the fund will definitely help me achieve that dream.
“It allows me to upscale myself and deliver more coaching to the school. It’s going towards an extended year seven programme which they wouldn’t have otherwise had.”
Now in its second year of partnership with Sports Coach UK, the ‘Great Starts’ programme aims to continue nurturing future ambition through qualified coaches following London 2012.
Bateman – a former Welshh international – is already seeing the rewards of hard work and good coaching.
“Henry Weir has made the Great Britain squad and I did some work with him when he was about 13 or 14,” he added.
“To be honest what he’s achieved probably has nothing to do with me but the best thing about what I do is seeing people learn, adapt and improve.”
The 2013 Gillette ‘Great Starts’ campaign celebrates community coaches and inspires the next generation of coaches by providing them with grants to fund their next level qualifications.