Jessica Ennis' Coach Toni Minichiello Loses Full-Time Job With UK Athletics
U.K. Coach of the Year TONI MINICHIELLO, who guided JESSICA ENNIS to heptathlon Gold at the London Olympics, said that he will have "no choice but to look for alternative ways of supplementing his income away from the track after losing his full-time job with UK Athletics," according to Simon Hart of the London TELEGRAPH. The governing body wants the "majority of its employed coaches" to be based at its new centralized institute in Loughborough and only coaches who have more than one medalist at world or Olympic level in their training groups, such as MALCOLM ARNOLD and LLOYD COWAN, are being offered the "chance to work away from Loughborough on full-time salaries." UK Athletics has offered Minichiello a consultancy role to continue coaching Ennis until the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, though he has "yet to accept any deal." UK Athletics refused to comment on the offer but said that it was "hopeful an agreement could be reached." Minichiello said, "I’m disappointed at being made redundant, but I’m not surprised because that’s the nature of sport." The coach believes his situation is "symptomatic of a wider attitude in British sport that undervalues the importance of coaches" and has called for the formation of a coaches association to safeguard the interests of the profession (TELEGRAPH, 1/22).