Friday, August 24, 2012

Anthony Hughes - London 2012 Paralympics

Anthony Hughes, has been the National Performance Manager for Disability Sport Wales for 14 years, he will be one of the lead UK Athletics throws coaches in London as part of the ParalympicsGB team. With 38 Welsh athletes in London he is sure to feel at home.

Anthony Hughes: Sport Wales Coach of the Year 2011
My key responsibility at the Games is to work alongside the Welsh athletes based in the ParalympicsGB athletics team, some of whom I coach in a variety of throws events.

Having said that I am also keen to ensure that I offer any support that is needed for  any of the Welsh members of the GB Team.

I have no doubt that as far as our  first time Welsh paralympians are concerned London 2012 will be an incredible  experience for them, and in some cases it may be overwhelming.

There will be a huge expectation and pressure on the shoulders of our young competitors.

Given my experience over many Games  I feel that I will be able to manage and support the ambitions of my own athletes as well as assisting other Welsh athletes from other sports.

Sometimes a friendly face at Games time can make all the difference. Keeping pressures at bay such as the media and other Games distractions is critical if we are to ensure that the athletes can focus on their performance.

We are here to provide a support network both inside and outside of the games; this has been paramount to our success in the past.

This will be my sixth Paralympic games, with varying degrees of responsibility from athlete to performance manager, and now to personal coach to some of our Welsh athletes.

This will also be my first games based in the athletes village as a member of the ParalympicsGB staff.

Being part of the GB staffing team is a honour indeed.

When I competed in Barcelona, in 1992, it was all about my own expectations and performance. Now, in London, it will be about ensuring that the things that just didn’t go right for me in Barcelona, don’t reoccur for our young squad.

This will be about ensuring we deflect as much pressure and external expectation as is possible. It is an immense honour to be linked to such incredible talent.

Wales has a proud reputation in Paralympic sport and I totally believe that our young competitors will make amazing history in London.

Check out the Disability Sport Wales website and follow them on Twitter @dsw_news for all the latest disability sport news across Wales and at the London 2012 Paralympics.