FCN & World Athletics Celebrate World Championship Track & Field Coaches

To celebrate the World Athletics Championships in Eugene from 15th – 24th July 2022, founder of the FCN Vicky Huyton and Athletics Irelands Lilly-Ann O’Hora are interviewing a number of Track & Field coaches involved with the World Championships themselves.

The interviews delve into the different roles each of the interviewee coaches will have at the Championships; whether that be a Team Coach as part of a Nations Team Staff, or Personal Coach to one of the 1900 competing at the Games.

“This is a super exciting opportunity to understand the coaches role at a major championships, including what has been involved in the preparation for the Champs and what day to day looks like for each coach at the Champs. It gives us all a unique chance to learn about a side of performance coaching that is rarely shared, and an insight into demands on coaches at such a big event. Lilly-Ann and I have been inspired by each and every coach we have spoken to, thanks to World Athletics for giving us this opportunity, we hope the interviews inspire listeners as much as they have both os us.

Vicky Huyton – founder of the FCN

Ashely Kovacs

One of the most highly-respected throws coaches in the World, Ashley Kovacs has coached a world champion and Olympic medallist, three NCAA champions, 17 All-Americans, 24 conference champions, 31 NCAA appearances, three regional Athlete of the Year honorees, six top-3 finishes at NCAAs, and 10 conference championship teams.

Ashley is currently an Assistant Coach at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, having also coached at Ohio State, Western Kentucky and Murray State.

At the 2019 World Athletics Championships, Ashely coached her husband Joe to win Gold in what is possibly the greatest Shot put competition of all time, as he threw 22.91cm for a Championship record to beat USA rival Ryan Crouser.

At this years World Championships, Ashley is a Team Coach for the USA team, as well as personal coach to two shot putters Joe Kovacs and Adelaide Aquilla.

Hayley Harrison

Hayley Harrison has coached alongside her husband Drew in Ireland for over 25 years and their athletes have competed at all major athletics championships including World and European Championships and the Olympic Games. Hayley is probably best known for coaching Irish 400m Hurdler Thomas Barr who has competed at European, World and Olympic level, winning bronze at the 2018 European Championships in Berlin.

Based at the University of Limerick, Hayley works for Sport Ireland as a Coach Development and Education Officer, responsible for coach development programmes and high performance coach support programmes.

During this years jam packed summer of athletics, Hayley has coached Thomas Barr to the World Championships in Eugene, the European Championships in Munich and a number of Diamond League Races.

Lacena Golding Clarke

Lacena Golding Clarke is a former 100m hurdler, representing Jamaica at 3 Olympic Games, 5 World Championships and a number of Commonwealth Games, winning Gold in Manchester in 2002.  Lacena retired in 2010 after reaching her 6th consecutive 60m final at the World Indoor Championships.

Following her retirement, Lacena moved into coaching and spent a number of years volunteering as assistant coach at Auburn from 1999 – 2006.  She then spent 10 years as an Assistant Coach at University of Texas El Paso, where she directed the Miner’s sprints and hurdle events. During her time there, she coached 13 All-Americans, 32 regional qualifiers, 32 C-USA individual crowns and eight school records and received the Mountain Region Coach of the Year award on three occasions (2014 indoor and outdoor, and 2017)

In recent weeks, Lacena has taken up a new role as Assistant coach for the Women’s Sprints and Hurdles programme back at Auburn University, which one of the biggest Universities in the South of USA.

Laura Turner – Alleyne

Laura Turner-Alleyne is an Olympian and former Sprinter for Great Britain having competed at the Beijing Olympics, four World Championships, European Championships and Commonwealth Games, winning Gold in the 4 x 100m in Deli in 2010.

Laura has been coaching full time since 2014, co founding the West London Track & Field Club  alongside fellow coach Ellie Kormis shortly after retiring from competing.  Alongside her club coaching, Laura is also a Team Coach for various GB teams, and has been involved since 2018 with coaching the future of British track and field with the British Athletics Futures Academy.

During one of the busiest seasons for Track & Field this year, Laura has been supporting a number of her athletes including Heptathlete Holly Mills, as Holly competed in the World Indoor Championships, the European Championships and the Commonwealth Games.  Amongst her personal coaching, Laura also managed to fit in Team coach duties for the World Championships, European Championships, the Commonwealth Games and the GB and NI U20 squad at the Mannheim International