Fine margins in elite sport and why our conference could be the difference

Darren Ritchie explains why this month’s England Athletics International Jumps and Throws Conference could help you gain an edge over your competitors

We often talk about fine margins in sports, but for field athletes, the difference between success and disappointment can be as agonizing as the thickness of a fingernail. British and English long jumper Jazmin Sawyers knows this better than most.

After years of missed opportunities to be on the top step of the podium at a major championship, she finally got the well-deserved gold medal around her neck in Istanbul on Sunday night.

With a world best distance of seven meters – a record distance for a long jumper – the 28-year-old won a breathtaking long jump competition at the European Indoor Championships for Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

If ever there was an athlete who embodied drive, determination and a “never give up” attitude to her craft, it’s Jaz.

Her comment: “I’ve never won anything!” Speaking to the media after the competition, her stunned reaction and infectious smile also speak volumes about her as a fabulous human being.

Jazmin Sawyers (Getty)

Ahead of the weekend, Jaz has won two European outdoor medals and competed in Commonwealth Games and Olympics.

Throughout her career, Jaz has proven she has the talent and ability to compete with the best, but perhaps prior to these indoor championships, she felt like that golden moment would never come.

Now that it is, she also told the media in Turkey, “I just want more of it.”

And knowing Jaz, I wouldn’t bet against her taking more podiums in the future!

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Your coach Aston Moore, a legend himself, will be attending our International Jumps and Throws Conference, part of the 2023 European Athletics Coaching Summit Series.

What a great opportunity for Loughborough University attendees to learn and network with Aston over the weekend of 25th-26th March.

Also present at our conference is Yannick Tregaro, the coach of Thobias Montler from Sweden, who finished second in the men’s long jump at the European Indoor Championships with 8.19 m.

And as if that weren’t enough, our conference will also feature Paulo Reis, who coaches the European Indoor Championships Women’s Shooting Champion, Portuguese Auriol Dongmo.

Throughout the conference we have an amazing lineup of elite level coaches, strength and conditioning experts and leaders in sport psychology including: Dr. Aine MacNamara, Elliott Newell, Herbert Czingon, Dr. John Kiely, Dr. Alison O’Riordan, Stefan Holm, Paulo Oliveira and Steve Backley.

Steve BackleyMark Shearman

The conference, which includes lunch on Saturday and Sunday, dinner on Saturday and refreshments on both days, offers delegates a unique opportunity to learn from and network with these world-leading trainers and practitioners, who will be attending lectures, workshops and hands-on sessions will be offered on a wide range of topics.

Participants not only gain in-depth knowledge and insights from the excellent speakers on the technical, tactical and psychological aspects of the sport, but also have the opportunity to exchange ideas with other coaches, managers and athletes.

As I mentioned at the beginning, fine margins are part of the repertoire when you work in top-class sport.

By being exposed to the knowledge and working methods of the world’s leading experts, like Jaz at the weekend, you can ensure you’re closer to the line of success than disappointment.

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» Darren Ritchie is the Head of Jumps and Combined Events for the England Athletics Events Group

Book online for the England Athletics International Jumps and Throws Conference. Please note that places are limited, so we recommend registering early to avoid disappointment.

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