National hat-trick for throws coach Zane
ISLAND GAMES record holder Zane Duquemin outlined his potential as a top-tier coach over the weekend, with three of his athletes claiming national titles at the British Athletics Championships.
The Jerseyman has taken a number of high-profile names under his wing of late as he juggles competition and coaching, although his recent focus has been on helping others due to a long-term injury which hampered his efforts at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Duquemin – a former British champion himself – guided Amelia Strickler [women’s shot putt], Jade Lally [women’s discus] and Brett Morse [men’s discus] to gold in Birmingham on Saturday and Sunday, while another of his discus hopefuls, Kirsty Law, finished as runner-up.
‘Getting three titles was quite a big deal,’ he said.
‘I’m not sure if anyone else managed to do that, and there was a silver medal as well. It was a good weekend for silverware and we’ve now got three going to the first Athletics World Cup in two weeks. Two are also guaranteed selection for the European Championships in August, but we’re hoping to get four there.
‘I obviously had a reputation as an athlete but there’s no guarantee you’d be a good coach. Fortunately I’ve had pretty good results and the squad has grown. And I’ve now got higher calibre athletes coming to me.’
However, Duquemin’s career guiding international athletes remains hazy given a lack of central funding from British Athletics. The 25-year-old – currently the only throws coach based at the national base at Loughborough University – had his own national support pulled in 2015, while none of his new national champions are funded by the governing body.
British Athletics currently have just one paid throws coach on their roster, for hammer throwing.
‘In an ideal world British Athletics would support me in some way and then I wouldn’t need to be charging the athletes,’ he explained. ‘I have to charge a small fee and it’s something I’m not happy about at all.
‘I fully understand that British Athletics make decisions on jobs based on where they think they can get medals, and at the moment only hammer throwers are getting medals. They’ve already got a funded hammer coach, but he lives in America. Our argument is that someone should be employed as a throws coach at the national performance institute [in Loughborough].
‘We have athletes who can get into finals, but not challenge for medals. We need to step up so they take us more seriously but I’ve always tried to avoid rustling too many feathers. I believe that you always get what you deserve in the end so we’ve just got to keep plugging away and showing progress and then hopefully at some point they’ll take note.’
Duquemin works with 20 athletes in total through his coaching business, Ultimate Training Systems, either one-to-one or via online coaching. Eight of those are currently making the grade as senior internationals.