President of the World Athletics (WA) Sebastian Coe visited the Hungarian University of Sports Science on Thursday. He spoke about the responsibilities of coaches, the beauty and difficulties of the profession and, of course, the World Athletics Championships in Budapest.
Accepting the invitation of the Hungarian University of Sports Science (HUSS) and the Global Athletics Coaching Academy (GACA), World Athletics President, former two-time Olympic Champion British middle-distance runner Sebastian Coe paid a visit to our institution.
At the very beginning of the event, world champion Italian high jumper Gianmarco Tamberi's coach Giulio Ciotti and British women's heptathlon world champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson's coach Aston Moore also present were given a big applause.
Mr Coe was greeted by a large audience in the assembly hall, where he was introduced by Frank Dick, chief organiser of the Coaches' Club, which is being held in parallel with the World Athletics Championships in Budapest.
Before making his speech, the re-elected WA President went to see the marble plaque with the names of the honorary doctors, accompanied by HUSS Rector Professor Tamás Sterbenz, Professor Ákos Koller and Frank Dick.
“Actually, I am very lucky because what was taught to me from the very-very early age was the value of coaching”, he began his speech. “I had an interesting coaching background because my father was my coach and it worked really well. He was an engineer by training by the way. It was an era when sport was really beginning to become quite a detailed scientific area. My father did not need to be the world’s best physiologist, but he had to find the world’s best physiologist for me. I was a product of smart, innovative world-class coaching. I was lucky enough to come through a system of coaches working very close with me.”
We learnt that Coe from South Yorkshire, had won titles in the various age-group races from the 400m to the 5000m, and that the county races served as an incubator for him.
„We tested all sorts of crazy theories. You can imagine how physiology kicked in at about 650 metres when I crossed the line at 1.53. I always worked with coaches who were always prepared, who challenged the orthodoxies of the day. They were crazy.”
Sebastian Coe also said a few words about the World Athletics Championships and the organisation.
“The local organising committee has done really well. It built and absorbed the games into the city. It has become about the people. It is pretty evident to any of us that we arrived in a city that wants us. We arrived in a city that clearly understands the importance of sport. I am honoured to be a guest of Budapest and your university”, concluded his speech, while not forgetting to mention the coaching greatness of the late world-class coach Mihály Iglói, who graduated at the Hungarian University of Sports Science
Photo by Eszter Kerekes