January 20, 2022

Archers selected for UK Sport's female coaches leadership scheme

Archers Vlada Priestman and Nicky Hunt have been selected to take part in the programme which aims to more than double representation in the Olympic and Paralympic high-performance community in the three years from Tokyo to Paris.

The pair will join 22 other promising female coaches from across 17 sports who will work with a highly respected group of five coach leaders.

The programme is designed to help some of the brightest female coaching talent from across sport to hone their skills. It also plays a critical role in demonstrating that coaching on the Olympic and Paralympic stage is a viable career for women. The new set of 24 coaches have been identified as having the potential to coach at the summer and winter Olympic and Paralympic Games from Paris 2024 and Milan-Cortina 2026 and beyond.

Each will be offered support and development opportunities, including observing their assigned coach leader in their environment, exploring three fundamental topics to career development - namely leadership, environment and transition - as well as continuously engaging in discussion and debate to consolidate their learning.

Sally Munday, CEO at UK Sport, said: "After the success of our inaugural female coaches leadership programme in 2021, I am delighted to welcome another strong cohort of hugely promising and talented coaches as it returns for another year.

"UK Sport is committed to powering a diverse and inclusive Olympic and Paralympic high-performance community. This programme forms an integral part of our ambition to grow our thriving sporting system and deliver against our ambition to see far more women coaching at the pinnacle of their sports."

Nicky Hunt has been involved in archery for over 25 years, shooting for GB as a junior with recurve, and making the switch to compound when she went off to university.

Nicky's greatest achievements were becoming world number one and double Commonwealth Games gold medalist in Delhi 2010. The switch back to recurve after this led to appearances at multiple World Cup's, World Championships and the European Games, when she was a full-time athlete on the World Class Performance Plan.

In 2016 Nicky retired from competitive shooting and became heavily involved with coaching. Over the last six years Nicky has built a successful coaching business - 'Archery Excellence' as well as coaching on the GB pathway for juniors and Paralympic hopefuls.

Nicky said: "I'm so excited to take this opportunity of the UK Sport Female Coaches Leadership Development Programme 2022. I believe in lifelong learning, so to have any chance to mix with some of the best coaches in the country is an absolute dream.

"To challenge my own thinking and approaches to coaching is super important, and I'm sure there will be so many transferable skills which I can bring back from other sports to archery, and develop a highly talented network of female coaches."

Vlada Priestman has dedicated her life to archery for the last 40 years, as an archer and as a coach.

She was selected for the USSR Junior team at age 15. At her first international competition she won team gold and individual bronze medals and was invited to join the senior squad.

Since the break up of the USSR she has represented her home country Ukraine until she immigrated to the UK. She started a family but continued her training and in 1998 became a member of GB's archery team.

She won a silver medal at the European Championships and, following the birth of her second child, won a quota spot and competed at the Sydney Olympic Games.

Vlada has been on the performance pathway coaching team since 2015, working with developing young archers on the National Talent Developing Programme and in the Performance Academy. She is also the head coach of Lancaster University archery club and a head coach of Nethermoss Archers club.

Vlada said: "I had 18 years of international competitive archery, 12 of them professionally, representing three countries, visiting 30 countries, winning national titles in three countries - it was an incredible journey. But this journey would not be possible without guidance, help and support from my family and coaches.

"I feel extremely excited about the Female Coaches Leadership Programme 2022. This programme will give me an incredible opportunity to observe top country coaches in action who already work at the highest level of performance coaching and have achieved astonishing results in their roles.

"Through developing my skills and aptitudes in analytics of performance along with a greater understanding of what is required to be a podium coach I am confident that it will give me a firm platform to progress in my coaching career to senior coach roles and make a positive impact in my sport organisation."

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