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An initiative to help former top-class athletes become coaches has been launched by sportscotland.

The Coaching Futures initiative will see eight sports employ a retiring or retired athlete who will use their knowledge and expertise to help develop and inspire the next generation of champions.

The programme follows a successful six-month pilot project which resulted in Olympian Kris Gilchrist becoming an integral part of Scottish Swimming's coaching team.

The other sports which will employ an apprentice are athletics (Alan Scott, Olympian); cycling (Kevin Stewart, former British record holder); judo (Matt Purssey, 10-time British champion); netball (Lesley MacDonald, Scotland's most capped player); rowing (John Higson, former Scottish champion); tennis (Joe Gill, Aegon British Tour winner); and triathlon (Bex Milnes, former elite triathlete).

Stewart Harris, CEO of sportscotland, said that with many ex-athletes naturally drawn towards coaching, the programme will help to increase the number of home grown performance coaches delivering in Scotland, retain vital knowledge and expertise within sport, and provide a stream of future national coaches.

"The advice, knowledge, and expertise that these ex-athletes will be able to pass on to our aspiring Scottish champions will be invaluable and provides another vital part in our drive to build and support a world-class sporting system at all levels," he added.

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An initiative to help former top-class athletes become coaches has been launched by sportscotland.
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