Mark Wood departs Skeleton coaching staff

Mark Wood departs Skeleton coaching staff
By Sportsbeat

12/07/2018 at 17:57Updated

British Skeleton head coach Mark Wood MBE is to leave the set-up after 16 years.

Wood, who helped identify Olympic gold medallists Amy Williams and Lizzy Yarnold as well as Shelley Rudman and Laura Deas, helped develop the discipline into Great Britain's most successful winter sport.

And, reflecting on a decorated career, Wood considered the gravitas of his achievements with British Skeleton.

"I am really proud to have helped create a culture of accelerated learning and development that has seen British Skeleton go from the smallest of programmes with the smallest of budgets to a medal winning factory across all levels of the sport,” he said.

"Being part of the team that helped Amy, Lizzy, Shelley, Laura and Dom [Parsons] win Olympic medals is an obvious highlight but I'm equally proud of the successes we have had further down the talent ladder: helping an athlete go from hating the sport after their first few runs on ice to having the courage to keep going and turn it into something they love is a great feeling.”

As a slider himself, Wood was the first Brit to finish in the top 10 at a World Cup event, and helped to develop the now ubiquitous one-handed pushing technique while coaching with Canada.

Outside of Skeleton, Wood has also worked with the Premier League, helping to mentor academy coaches.

"He has helped build a sustainable and successful system and he leaves having played an important role in the success of so many British athletes,” said Andi Schmid, British Skeletonhs Performance Director.

"As an athlete himself, he did a lot for British Skeleton at a time when the sport was very low budget and was driven by nothing but aspiration and passion and he has continued that contribution throughout his time as a coach.

"His dedication, passion and commitment have helped drive our culture and our aspiration to continually achieve the seemingly impossible and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to collaborate with him.”

Sportsbeat 2018