British coaches are getting a raw deal from UK Athletics, claims Minichiello

Ennis's coach says influx of foreigners is bad news after rejecting new role with governing body

For Toni Minichiello, it was business as usual yesterday – another day of trials, tribulations, and keeping the Midas stuff on the golden girl of British athletics.

"I've been coaching Jess in the rain up the road at the Don Valley Stadium," the reigning UK Coach of the Year said after arriving at the English Institute of Sport for day two of the British Athletics European Trials and UK Championships. "She's been doing a running session there and I've come across to coach the athletes I've got competing here."

It was the morning after Minichiello not only announced an end to negotiations with UK Athletics about continuing to work for the governing body on a consultancy basis but did so firing a verbal broadside. Having already lost his old full-time job because of a restructuring process focused on building a centralised base in Loughborough, the man who guided Jessica Ennis from 12-year-old schoolgirl novice to Olympic heptathlon champion rejected a part-time contract, accusing UK Athletics of "a lack of respect " and of operating "a culture of bullying".

After putting his celebrated charge through her Sunday morning paces, and preparing to watch some of his lesser-known athletes in action, Minichiello went further in his criticism yesterday. Asked if he felt he might have been treated differently had he been the Swede who coached Carolina Kluft to global heptathlon domination before Ennis, he replied: "If you look at the squad of athletes around Raina Reider [an American coach hired by UK Athletics to coach at Loughborough] and you look at [Scottish 800m runner] Lynsey Sharp being coached by Terrence Mahon [another US coach at Loughborough] what does that say to British coaches?

"What about the British coaches? Dan Pfaff left after the Olympics and you replace him with another American [Reider]. It's like foreign is better. So be it.

"Peter Eriksson [the UK Athletics head coach] saying to me in the press, 'Take it or leave it' kind of summed up what the level of value was of me. On reflection, I thought, 'OK, I'm going to leave it.'

"It wasn't about the money. With those kind of comments coming, I thought, 'Let's just leave it, then.' It's not going to be a marriage made in heaven. It's up them. They've taken the sport in a particular direction using lottery money as they see fit. It's better just to leave it and get on and coach Jess."

Minichiello added that UK Athletics had twice attempted to get him to relocate his training base with Ennis from Sheffield. "In 2006 there was a push to move us to Loughborough," he said, "and in 2009 there was a very stiff push to move us to London. Neither would have been for Jess's benefit."

Despite that pressure, Minichiello remained in the Steel City, steadily building Ennis into the world's leading all-round female athlete on the track at the Don Valley Stadium – now under the threat of closure – and at the English Institute of Sport indoor arena. One would have thought securing his services would have been a post-Olympic priority but instead, while Stuart Lancaster has had him addressing England's rugby union squad, his talents have been allowed to drift away from the UK Athletics system.

"It's always sad when you have to do it through the newspapers, but it's Toni's decision," Eriksson said. "I'm fine with it. We will do everything we can to help Jess get to where she wants."

Minichielllo managed to get another member of his training group on the podium yesterday, Louise Bloor of Trafford AC taking bronze in the 200m behind Margaret Adeoye and Olympic 400m silver medallist Christine Ohuruogu (far left). Robbie Grabarz won the high jump with 2.31m, failing at a British record height of 2.39m. The performance of the championship came in the women's polevault, Holly Bleasdale soaring to the top of the world rankings with a clearance of 4.77m.

Out in Jamaica, meanwhile, at the Camperdown Classic meeting in Kingston, Usain Bolt won one of the 400m races in 46.74sec. Yohan Blake, whom Bolt beat to Olympic 100m and 200m gold in London last year, finished second in a separate one-lap race in 46.64sec. "I just came out here to win and I'm glad I won injury-free," Bolt said.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
science
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
tv
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
News
Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders were pictured embracing in 2012
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

HSE Manger - Solar

£40000 - £45000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: HSE Mana...

Data Governance Manager (Solvency II) – Contract – Up to £450 daily rate, 6 month (may go Permanent)

£350 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently looking...

Recruitment Resourcer

£18000 - £22000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Recruitment Resour...

2nd line support - Derbyshire - 6 months

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: 2nd line support - Derbyshire - 6 months...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried