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Lucy Griffiths speaks about her coaching experience with UKA

Category: UK Athletics, Inclusive environment, Women in sports, Career in coaching, Welsh Athletics, Coaching opportunities, Women in coaching



Pembrokeshire Harriers: Throws Coach



What is your athletics background?

I started athletics when I was 11 for my local club Pembrokeshire Harriers. I did lots of different events but quickly found a love for shot put and occasionally discus. I was fortunate to have two supportive grandparents and they took me across the UK to compete and train. I have managed to compete at both junior and senior level for Wales, being captain of the team on numerous occasions.

Throughout my competing career I have trained with some of the best coaches, along with my Bampy (Grandpa) upskilling himself to support me while I was back home in Pembrokeshire.

My last coach was Ryan Spencer-Jones who was great and worked in a very inclusive environment. He is the one that has pushed me to grow into a better coach myself and I use his coaching methods as a foundation to my sessions.

In 2021 I officially stopped competing and moved more towards a coaching role.


How long have you been coaching and in what field

I have been coaching independently for nearly eight years. However, when I was 16 I helped my Bampy with the junior athletes at the club.

Whilst at university in Cardiff, I developed my coaching career, working in Cardiff Archers academy. Throughout my four years there I coached children aged five plus across multiple events as well as having my own throws group. For the last five years I coached at Pembrokeshire Harriers as the lead shot coach along with doing multiple workshops and development days for Welsh Athletics in the throws area.


What brought you into coaching?

From a young age I wanted to be a teacher, as I liked the feeling of helping others achieve their goals and guide them on the way. This went hand in hand to then give coaching a go when the opportunity appeared. I have had the opportunity to observe and be part of multiple coaching teams that has allowed me to pick an element out that I feel I can embed into my coaching.

I think key to wanting to coach was, firstly, to repay a club that did so much for me as I was growing up as an athlete, while also keeping the Griffiths coaching legacy going in Pembrokeshire Harriers.

Secondly, Ryan Spencer-Jones encouraging me to gain multiple experiences and allowing me to observe/coach people in the group that I was training in so I could get a good understanding of how to coach elite performers has really led me into wanting to coach.


What do you consider your biggest achievement from a coach perspective?

Being selected to coach/manage the throws groups at an international competition and the athletes coming to thank me after they have competed to say how much they appreciate my support and guidance.

Additionally getting an athlete to a Number 1 ranking in GB and a GB vest.


What is your coaching philosophy?

To create a fun and inclusive environment for every athlete to thrive in. I ensure that my coaching space is a place they feel safe and comfortable in as this is when the biggest improvements are made. I like to set goals for each athlete to try and strive towards.


What keeps you motivated?

Young people having the opportunity to travel the country doing something they love and succeeding. Whether that is completing a competition with no no-throws or gaining a PB. I love seeing/hearing about their successes and that makes me want to continue to show up and help them get there.


What are your ambitions for 2022/23?

To have more coaching opportunities on an international scale and to get Megan Cole to reach her goal of achieving a Welsh vest.


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