Kelly Sotherton MBE-England Athletics Track & Field Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 Team Leader | LinkedIn • Kelly Sotherton has been appointed as the new head coach of the England Athletics track and field team. Sotherton, who was a three-time gold medallist at the IAAF World Championships in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay events, will take charge of a squad that has won nine consecutive Olympic medals in athletics.
He is the first British athlete to be given this role and he will work with staff members at Britain's National Centre of Excellence (NCEO) based at Loughborough University. The NCEO was launched by Queen Elizabeth II in 2009 to identify and select young athletes with the potential to go all the way to the top of their sport. They work with more than 250 athletes between them to help them achieve their goals while also developing the next generation of British talent.
Sotherton, who was born in Birmingham and raised in Smethwick, West Midlands, became one of the country's most successful athletes when he won his third gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Kelly Sotherton has been named Squad England's track and field team commander for Birmingham 2022. She will now use her significant top competition expertise and multi-event background to help Team England's exceptional athletes prepare for and compete at the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
Sotherton, who was responsible for overseeing all of Britain's efforts at this year's Olympic Games in Beijing, will continue to work with her new team while also preparing herself for the next international challenge - the World Championships in Qatar next year. She said: "It's an incredible opportunity and one that I won't be able to turn down. It means leaving behind some fantastic colleagues but it's something I've thought long and hard about. London was an amazing experience and I'm so proud of what we achieved there. But this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance and I need to be sure that it's the right thing for me and my family."
Sotherton took over from Jon Eley after he stepped down following the London Olympics. He will remain involved with the squad in a supporting role. Kelly Sotherton began her senior career in 1991 when she became Britain's first ever female gold medallist at the European Junior Championships in St Petersburg, Russia. Since then she has gone on to win three more gold medals at World Championships and two at European Championships.
Dame Kelly's athletic accomplishments include gold medals in the 800m and 1500m in the 2004 Athens Olympics. She is also a two-time Commonwealth champion, a multi-medalist at the Commonwealth European and World Championships, and a British record holder in the 600m and 800m. These achievements make her one of the most successful athletes of all time.
As a child, Kelly Holmes worked in a factory to help support her family. At a very young age, she showed an interest in sports and began playing soccer and tennis. When she was 11 years old, she started running races and quickly became one of Australia's best female runners. In 1998, at the Sydney Olympic Games, she won a gold medal as part of the Australian women's 4x400m relay team. A year later, at the 1999 World Championships in Athletics, she won another gold medal as part of the same team.
In 2003, Dame Kelly retired from competitive athletics but has since returned for several events including the 2004 Athens Olympics where she won a third gold medal. She has also competed in multiple events at the 2008 Beijing Olympics without winning any more gold medals. However, her career medal count stands at eight, the most of any female athlete at these games.
After retiring from active competition, Holmes took up coaching and has worked with some of Australia's top athletes including Lauren Boyle, Peter Novak, and Alex McKinnon.