Athletics coaches selected for Women into High Performance programme

Helen Clitheroe eng ath

After a record number of applications for UK Coaching’s Women into High Performance (WiHP) programme, we’re pleased to announce that three of the places have been allocated to athletics coaches.

29 coaches across 11 sports were identified by their respective governing bodies of sport as being eligible to apply for the bespoke programme, which supports female coaches who have the potential to transition into high performance coaching.  Helen Clitheroe (pictured with a running handicap score of 6.3), Louise Capicutto (Throws) and Maxine Robbins (Pole Vault) are three of the 18 coaches from across 10 sports who made the final cut. 


The cohort will now come together for a total of four seminars – starting 8 October – to develop the skills, behaviours and knowledge they will require to thrive and flourish within the high-performance environment.

At these seminars the coaches will specifically engage in facilitated peer coaching, including ‘buddying up’ with coaches from other sports and larger group work. These elements will enable them to share practice, reflect on experiences, develop a greater understanding of their issues and challenges, and identify strategies and tactics to overcome them. This will also enable them to deepen their network, consider other sports’ coaching practices, and further develop their awareness of other modus operandi.

England Athletics Head of Coach and Athlete development Martin Rush said, “England Athletics are pleased to be able to support the Women in High Performance coaching programme organised by UK Coaching for the fourth year running.  The feedback from individuals who have been part of the programme has been really positive.

“The opportunity to work in a cross sport coach development initiative, to link to networking opportunities and to promote higher level women’s coaching fits with England Athletics’ Coaching plans to increase diversity and support women coaching at high performance levels.”

As well as holding courses for coaching qualifications England Athletics is also running a wide range of development opportunities for coaches this autumn and winter (see below for more details).

Chris Chapman, Development Lead Officer for Talent and Performance at UK Coaching, said: “On behalf of the Talent and Performance team I’m pleased to welcome our new cohort of coaches onto the Women into High Performance programme. The quality of nominations and governing body support for the coaches was the best yet, and I am looking forward to supporting the coaches in fulfilling their potential.

The next six months will be a great opportunity for the coaches as they continue their coaching journeys.

“As a consequence of attending the programme we hope these coaches will walk away instilled with a heightened sense of self-belief, improved communication skills and autonomy over their future development; ready to progress with their careers in high performance coaching.”

This will be the fourth year that UK Coaching’s Talent and Performance team have delivered the programme; working with governing bodies of sport to better support female coaches.

The three coaches from athletics are:

Helen Clitheroe - Helen represented Great Britain as an athlete since 1998 and has reached the highest levels competing at Commonwealth, European, World Championships and two Olympic Games.  More recently she’s been selected as a team coach for Great Britain at World and European cross-country events. Personally she now coaches a range of endurance athletes with several achieving International honours in the last 12 months.

Louise Capicutto - Louise coaches alongside Garry Power who has played a massive role in her learning and has also developed a network of coach mentors who aid her learning.  Louise loves the throwing events, but she also likes to learn from other sports too.  Generally, throws events lack female coaches and role models, Louise has the drive, skills and passion to achieve at the highest level and move into performance coaching which would in turn inspire the next generation of female throws coaches. 

Maxine Robbins - Maxine only began coaching in 2012 and has rapidly risen through the ranks to coach some of our top ranked pole vaulters including an athlete who was ranked UK number two at under 17 age group.  She was part of the National Coach Development Programme and has been proactive in the development of a support network.

England Athletics delivers a range of coach development opportunities.

To find out more:

To see a full calendar of activities:

You can also view specific information for:



Jumps and combined events


Physical prep

Youth Development