British Athletics can confirm the appointments of Darren Campbell as Head of (short) Sprints and Relays and Tim Benjamin as Head of (long) Sprints and Relays, following an open recruitment process.
The decision to split the role of Head of Sprints and Relays into long and short sprints was taken recognising the specialist expertise both candidates bring to this event group. Both roles are part time but offer full time coverage.
The key purpose of this role is to ensure high levels of engagement with targeted athlete-coach pairings and to provide support in line with the Individual Athlete Plan (IAP). As well as liaising closely with those on the World Class Programme, the position will help to support the development and transition of sprinters on the periphery of the programme. It will also ensure any specific sprint camps best prepare and deliver sprint squads into milestone target events. (MST)
Both Benjamin and Campbell will begin their new roles with immediate effect.
Olympic Head Coach, Christian Malcolm said:
“These are great appointments for the sport. Darren and Tim bring a wealth of experience to the roles following their successful careers in and out of the sport. I am pleased to bring them into the team as we continue to support athletes and coaches to achieve their goals during 2021 and beyond.”
Tim Benjamin said:
“I am delighted to be offered this role alongside Darren. I’ve remained a big fan of athletics throughout my retirement and had always wanted an opportunity to give back to my sport. I’ve had 11 years in the commercial world yet my heart has always been here.
“I had a great competitive career and have worked with world class coaches such as Jock Anderson, Tony Lester, Colin Jackson and Linford Christie. I’ve been exposed to so many differing approaches and I’ve also made my fair share of errors as an athlete which means I can bring this insight and experience to help support the athletes and coaches I work with in this role.”
Darren Campbell said:
“I’m really pleased to accept this role and work with Tim, Christian and Sara. I felt like it was the right time to get involved with the sport again. I’m excited by the new leadership and the new direction it’s headed in by putting the athlete first.
“I’ve had experience across the board competing, coaching, mentoring and mediating and understand what the athletes and their coaches will be looking for. When I was competing, I don’t feel we always got what we needed, and support wasn’t offered properly. I know I can bring that experience and help to ensure athletes have what they need to be successful.
“I’m looking forward to putting my energy into this, giving encouragement to the athletes so they can perform when they need to.”
Following a recruitment process for the Head of Endurance role, no appointment has been made; instead a wider and longer term strategy for endurance will be driven via a wide consultation across a range of stakeholders. Chris Jones will be seconded with the agreement of Welsh Athletics on a two-day a week basis to lead on this project in conjunction with Christian Malcolm and Sara Symington.
Rob Denmark will continue on an interim basis to act up as the main point of contact for those athletes targeting Tokyo until after the Games.