Former Olympic star Tessa is looking to develop champions for the future

PUBLISHED: 15:00 24 February 2012

Tessa Sanderson with her new team of coaches as Newham looks for some stars of the future

Tessa Sanderson with her new team of coaches as Newham looks for some stars of the future


Former Olympic gold medallist Tessa Sanderson has successfully recruited top sports coaches in Newham as part of a programme to develop tomorrow’s champions.

Sanderson is working with coaches, including Lloyd Cowan, who trained Olympic winner Christine Ohuruogu, to promote sports among Newham College students and young people.

Her coaches are part of the Tessa Sanderson Sports Foundation and Academy that is based at Newham College’s Stratford campus.

“We have specialist coaches for athletes at Newham College and Mile End,” explained Sanderson.

“There’s a lot of talent here. We can put them on a ‘player pathway’ and then a ‘coach pathway’.

“It would be great to develop sports facilities that people involved in the Olympics would use.”

She has recruited seven athletics coaches, five tennis coaches, two table tennis coaches, two fencing coaches and a football coach.

The coaches, include Richard Gysie who has helped the best current and former triple and long jumpers, while Michelle Weltman is training east end Paralympic swimmer Dervic Kononulp.

Top fencing coaches Linda Strachan and Pierre Harper will be supporting budding sports people, while John Ogwuche, who was the head coach for the foundation of former Wimbledon tennis champion Richard Krajicek, is also on board.

Coaches are working with 30 promising athletes and a number of Olympic and sporting hopefuls, some of which are Newham College students.

Jahmal Germain, 19, is training under Greg Richards to compete in the Olympic decathlon.

Through the Foundation, Tessa has arranged visits to Newham from the Olympic organisers, LOCOG, UK Athletics and British Judo and the Lawn Tennis Association.

The college is already part funding the Foundation and intends to raise more funds to become the leading college sports provider in the borough.

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