KTH Coach Winner of Brooks Inspire Daily

Kettering Town Harrier Head Endurance Coach Shane Smith was selected as one of 22 UK winners in the prestigious Brooks Inspire Daily competition. The competition run in conjunction with Athletics weekly asked athletes to nominate their inspirational coaches and tell them how they help them to “Run Happy and how they actively encouraging people to run and be active, instilling Brooks’ core values” . Members of Shane’s Middle Distance Squad nominated him with a quite inspirational letter (attached below) penned by 400/800m athlete Ella Palmer, and Shane was one of 20 UK Based coaches who will get a spot on the Brooks Inspire Daily Coach Team, gaining recognition from Brooks for their role as a leader as well as receiving a year’s supply of Brooks kit!

Ella who nominated Shane will receive a Brooks Tee, and Coach Smith will receive a grand prize consisting of: Running jacket, Hoody, LS half zip, Tees, Pant/ tight, Shorts, Hat, Gloves, Training shoes, Spike/racer, and 40% of Brooks kit until the end of 2016!

Ella along with club colleagues Elana Albery & Chloe Hearne who nominated Shane, were delighted that their coach was recognised, and Ella particularly happy that her wonderful words on the application sealed the win for her coach who she has been with for just 18 months and has been instrumental in her massive improvements in her first full year on track, helping her to become part of the award winning English National U20 4x400m Champions, as well as reaching English Schools Nation Championships at the first attempt.

Shane was shocked that the squad had nominated him and had no idea when they broke the news just before Athletics Weekly announced the winners, he added “It’s absolutely fantastic that members of the squad felt motivated to nominate me, and although the Brooks kit will be very useful for me as an active runner, the lovely warm and touching words in the application are what really matter to me, to feel appreciated by the squad is all that matters to me”.

Many of the squad, who are completing the final few Championship Races in the Cross Country season, will be switching attention to Track in a few weeks, and for many the challenge of improving their PB, winning county medals and for some securing selection for English Schools T&F, will be foremost in their thoughts.

Congratulations to Shane!

Ella Palmer and Coach Shane Smith


Application to Brooks Inspire Daily competition, from Ella & the squad.

Why should your coach be an Inspire Daily winner?
From a pragmatic point of view Shane's success can be illustrated by the sheer amount of achievements he has gathered through his athletes, from a small grassroots town club, that is a result of his constant hard work. His U20 4x400 team won England Championships in August 2015 as well as the team award at the Kettering and also Northants Sports Awards. He had 2 athletes, but at least 3 more in serious contention for selection spots, attend the English Schools track and field championships in July 2015 and had two different athletes attend the year before showing the breath of talent Shane's developed. Also at least 10 of the squad qualified for the English Schools Cross Country Championships in March. All these successes, although personal for the athletes, are Shane's own as nothing could be achieved without him and we, as his athletes, recognize this as one of the most prominent thoughts when we race is wanting to make Shane proud as we feel this is the least we can do in return for him.

Please share a story of the most inspiring thing your coach has done
There is no unique epitome example of Shane's inspiration as he is most inspirational to our squad through his application of himself in any way that will benefit us. Shane's inspiration is accumulated through his constant daily acts of perseverance and stamina; ironically perfect in an endurance coach. Shane makes sure he is always contactable any time or day of the week. He puts on sessions approx. 5 days a week in various locations that he is always willing to offer as many lifts as possible through no thought on any infringement on his own time or energy, the latter appearing to be ceaseless. There is rarely a session Shane doesn't give someone a lift. Particularly through the Christmas holidays, (with such an extensive squad and multitudes of family commitments) Shane would organize and, of course, attend and partake in many different sessions as needed to make sure everyone who wanted to run, could. For example he ran two sessions on Christmas Eve, one at 7am and one at 2pm.

How does your coach encourage you to Run Happy?
Shane doesn't just coach us to be good and happy runners but also happy people. He cares not only about our physical health but also mental as Shane takes massive pride not just in our sporting achievements but also educational, congratulating us on our results, from big A level/GCSE exams to any small class tests we passed. He will text us to see how our exams go and even sit through us picking apart an essay/exam that would have no interest/relevance to anyone but ourselves and yet he will be attentive to us anyway, because he honestly cares. He will discuss anything with us, from national headline issues to our own social issues about who said what about whom. Running is often described as free therapy but a running coach like Shane is better than this, acting like a therapist but also a friend, making sure every aspect of our lives (even off the track) is happy so that we can run carefree and to the true best of our abilities when we are on the track.

What words of wisdom has your coach given?
"There are no shortcuts in life" is a commonly cited phrase but Shane gives it new meaning, he doesn't just use it to push us harder in training, but to push harder in developing every part of our life's. He will use it when we are on the last rep of a particularly gruelling session when motivation is running low and the temptation to leave it for another night is potentially overwhelming and yet somehow overcome because Shane reminds us you only get out what you put in. Likewise he will equally employ it if you are moaning to him on the amount of revision/homework etc. you are being subjected to and again, without forcing any type of opinion on you as he lets you develop as your own person, he'll remind you why push through boredom/pain; for the end goal and satisfaction that can be achieved from trying your hardest.

Without my coach ...
I would not be able to compete at the level I do, not lead such a happy life as I do. Shane picks me up for training sessions, that he plans and organizes in advance to fit around us and our needs, and transports me to competitions- neither I would ever have been able to attend without him. I wouldn't have been able to, not just because I wouldn't have had the 1st class training Shane supplies to compete nationally, but because I wouldn't have the confidence. I wouldn't have the confidence in my own ability without his constant unwavering belief in me. I wouldn't have the confidence to be able to balance my school/athletics and fully commit to both with such passion if I didn't have a role model like Shane who commits whole heartedly to everything he does. And most importantly, I would not have the confidence to attack life with such energy as I now do as I have confidence in my support network; of which Shane is central to. Shane's commitment to both the sport and every single one of his athletes and their wellbeing is truly inspiring.