One of the most well-liked and respected coaches in pole vaulting is Scott Simpson. To appreciate the camaraderie among vault coaches, one must sit at a competition with the vault crowd and observe the coaches working with athletes, their own and ones in need of assistance at track meets. I did this in 2019 at the Madrid Indoor, and I also observed at major meetings, Live and remote.
I have to admit that we at RunBlogRun are quite concerned about our friends across the pond. UK Athletics is in crisis, not just financial, but, seemingly, existential as well. One of the stories of this century has been the rebirth of British Athletics, and the 2023 World Champs, with ten medals, is a huge testament to that success. But the federation seems to be imploding, and that is not good for the sport.
Scott Simpson surprised many with his recent departure from UK Athletics. I asked Stuart Weir, who knows Scott Simpson from many discussions at various meetings over the years, to comment. This is what Stuart sent:
Hot on the heels of the shock departure of Stephen Maguire from his post of technical director at UK Athletics comes the report that Scott Simpson, head of field events at the federation has left his post just over a year after being appointed. In Budapest, the GB team performed magnificently, winning 10 medals – compared to Germany’s nil and France’s one – but now the wheels seem to be coming off as arguably the two people most responsible for that medal haul have left their posts.
Before being promoted to the role of head of field events, Simpson had been responsible for the development of the pole vault, at which he had himself been an international athlete. He was the long-time coach of Holly Bradshaw who took a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics. It was announced last month that Holly had split amicably from Scott as she was relocating to the north of England. Perhaps there was more to it.
A few years ago, Simpson facilitated a webinar with Aikatarina Stefanidi, Katie Nageotte, and Holly Bradshaw, which was featured on RunBlogRun. It drew over 100,000 downloads of each piece and video. Here are the links to the four parts;