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Athletics: Paula Dunn appointed as Paralympic Head Coach

November 21, 2012
Athletics: Paula Dunn appointed as Paralympic Head Coach

Another big step for women in sport came this morning with UK Athletics appointing Paula Dunn as their new Paralympic Head Coach; the first time the governing body has recruited a woman for a head coach role.

Athletics: Paula Dunn appointed as Paralympic Head CoachThe position was left vacant after Peter Eriksson moved on to succeed Charles van Commenee as head coach of the Olympic athletics squad, with Dunn stepping in from her previous position of Paralympics performance Manager (athletics).

The former 100m European bronze and Commonwealth silver medallist was an integral part of the Paralympic coaching team who have dramatically turned around the performance of GB athletes since the 2008 Paralympic Games. The team finished second in the medal table in the 2011 World Championships and third at the London Paralympic Games this summer.

Speaking of her appointment, Dunn said: “London 2012 had an amazing impact on Paralympic sport in this country and we have a real opportunity to build on that over the next four years. I believe that there is more talent out there and I am looking forward to unearthing that talent and building on the success of 2012.

“Working closely with Peter over the past four years has been superb, but I am looking forward to taking the reins and continuing what is in effect a long term plan to see further medal success in Rio in 2016.

”As a former European and Commonwealth Games medallist, I know the commitment, passion and sheer determination it takes to achieve the very best. I have used this experience to develop some of the best Paralympic athletes in the world and I can’t wait to take the team to the next level.”

Hannah Cockroft, Goldie Sayers and Denise Lewis were just some of the stars from the athletics world who welcomed the decision, voicing their well-wishes on twitter.

Double gold medal winning paralympian Cockroft said: “So happy our new Paralympic head coach is the one and only Paula Dunn! So well deserved, an amazing woman who’s been with me since day 1”

Javelin star Sayers added: “Great news that Paula Dunn has been appointed as Head coach for Paralympics @UKA_athletics. Nice to see a woman in a top coaching job.”

Jessica Whittington, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

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