Training groups

Gloucester AC has a number of training groups depending on discipline, age and ability. Training is typically on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and is based at Blackbridge Jubilee Athletics Track, but precise times and venues may vary. The 365 Academy group train on a Monday evening instead of Tuesday. Everyone is welcome, ring 07817 974630 for more details.


For sessions that take place on the track, track entry is £1.50 for club members, and £3.00 for non-members. Grass and road sessions do not incur a charge.


The minimum age criterion for club membership is age 8 and/or in School Year 4.  Sorry, but we are not currently accepting people below this age.


The 365 group is currently operating a waiting list due to class sizes. If you are interested in joining, please email, giving your child's date of birth and the evening you would prefer to attend, to register your interest. Please do not turn up to a training session as we will not be able to accept you. You are asked to renew your registration of interest every two months, otherwise you will be removed from the waiting list. Please be patient as the waiting list is quite long.


Please see the table below to find the group most suitable to you, then follow the links for more details.


Age Discipline Group
8 to 10 All Athletics 365 Academy
11 to 17 Track & field (newcomer) Athletics 365 Academy
11 to 17 Track & field (experienced) Track & Field
11 to 17 Distance running 800m+ Endurance
12+ Distance beginner / recreational running for health & fitness Endurance
18+ Track & Field Track & Field
18+ Distance running 800m+ Endurance
All Para-athletics Para-Athletics


We are a competitive club! In return for the time and commitment put in by our coaches, we expect members (except U9s and Endurance Beginners) to represent the club in the club's targeted competitions. These competitions can be found under the 'Competition' tab.

Meet the coaches!

Athletics 365 Academy

Helen Hoy


Helen is a Level 2 Athletics Coach. Helen got into athletics when working with Bob Purcell with the Wheelchair racing group which her niece attends.  Since then Helen has gone on to help set up along with Matt the new 365 Athletics group structure and runs the Thursday session at the club.  Helen enjoys seeing the progress of the children as they grow in confidence and ability.

Paula Whitcher


Paula is a Level 1 Assistant Coach, coaching as part of the 365 Athletic Academy.  She is also a Level Two Field Judge. She is enthusiastic having been introduced to the world of athletics by her daughter, who is taking a sabbatical from athletics to raise a family.  Paula enjoys meeting the new children who come along to our club and gets satisfaction in seeing them progress into becoming well rounded, disciplined athletes and mature young adults.

Mike Curneen


Mike is a Level 2 Athletics Coach, coaching as part of the 365 Athletic Academy.  He has coaching experience in other sports, mainly rugby and karate. He has been reintroduced to the world of athletics by his son who is training within the 365 Athletic Academy.  Mike tries to ensure the children who come along to our club have fun whilst they develop their athletic abilities and gets satisfaction in seeing how they progress. Mike is also a Level 2 Track Judge and a Level 1 Field Judge, and represents the club in open and competition events.

Maryam Ouiles


Maryam is a qualified Athletics Coach who runs the 365 Athletics Academy Thursday session. She became involved with the club when her son and daughter joined the club in 2011. Maryam says she enjoys being part of Gloucester AC as it's such a friendly club with great coaches. She enjoys working with the children and watching their progress.

Claire Manley


A qualified Coach Assistant working with the Athletics 365 Academy. Claire is also the Team Manager for the Sportshall Athletics Team. 

Paula Margretts


Paula recently qualified as an assistant coach. Both her children have been attending Gloucester AC for several years now so she decided to help out as she is normally at the track watching.

Sarah Hobby


Sarah is a Level 1 Assistant Coach, coaching as part of the 365 Athletic Academy.

Elaine Campion


Elaine is a Level 1 Assistant Coach, coaching as part of the 365 Athletic Academy.

Jo Wheeler


Jo Wheeler is a level 1 coaching assistant who helps out on a Thursday evening. She began coaching after her daughter joined the club in 2015. She wanted to be able to support the coaches who give so much to their athletes but also enable other children to enjoy and achieve in the world of athletics. 

Andrew Wilson


Andrew is a Level 1 Assistant Coach, coaching as part of the 365 Athletic Academy.



Mark is a parent volunteer.

Elena Neal


Elena is a parent volunteer.

Middle distance

Russell Kirby


Russ is a qualified Athletics Coach and trains the Junior Middle Distance Group. He is also a qualified Official.

Paul DeCamps


Paul has almost 25 years’ experience of coaching endurance athletes at the highest level.   He has coached athletes to County, Regional, Territorial, National and International titles in track and field, over distances from 800 metres to 5000 metres, and cross country.   His athletes also have achieved representative honours for Great Britain and Northern Ireland, England and Wales.   He currently coaches a group of mainly under 20 and senior athletes, male and female, but younger athletes are welcome to join the group provided they have the necessary training experience.   The aim of the training group is to develop athletes to their full potential.   Anyone enquiring about joining the group can contact Paul via the club web site at

Andrew DeCamps


Andrew is a former high calibre 800 metre runner who has won Midland titles indoor and outdoor as well as Welsh representative honours.   He is a post graduate in Sports Physiology and now uses his attributes and experience to assist with the coaching of the club’s middle distance athletes.   Andrew’s tactical nous and advise, in both indoor and outdoor races, is of particular value to up and coming athletes.


Garry Hunter


Garry is a Level 2 Speed Coach working with the Sprint Group with fellow volunteer Coaches Justin Smith and Richard Blackwell. Garry helps with the short sprints (60m - 200m) with Justin, concentrating on developing the younger and inexperienced sprinters.

Richard Blackwell


Richard, aka "Dicky Sprint", is a qualified athletics coach, specialising in sprints and relays. An experienced competitor with a personal best time of 10.6 seconds for 100m, he was captain of the highly successful Gloucester club teams in the 1980s.

Justin Smith BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching & MSc Coaching Science


Justin joined Gloucester AC in 2012 when he moved to Hartpury College to study a Sports Coaching & Science Degree. Originally from South Africa, Justin competed to a national level as a sprinter (& cross country). A high point was representing South Africa Schools in the USA. 


Justin helps with the short sprints group having qualified as an Assistant Coach with Gloucester AC. Still an athlete with Gloucester AC, Justin's focus is on short sprints from 100m to 400m. Justin works as part of the successful Elite Rugby Academy at Hartpury. Apart from coaching on the track, he takes select group of athletes to Hartpury for their Strength & Conditioning program, which he designs and coaches.

Hurdles & Jumps

Jo Willoughby - Long & Triple Jump


Jo returned to athletics when her daughter, Dayna, joined Gloucester AC and has qualified as a UKA coach. An ex Welsh and GB international long and triple jumper (6.38m and 11.31m) she is now coaching jumps to athletes aged 11 to adult. Jo is also a field event official for the club.

Ian Willoughby - Hurdles, Sprints, Steeplechase, Long & Triple Jump


Ian started coaching in the late 70s as a BAAB coach and successfully coached 5 athletes to reach the ESAA sprint hurdle finals. He also assisted with the Midland Hurdles squads. While living in Bristol he helped run coaching weekends for Avon schools athletes. He coached his wife Jo prior to her becoming a long jump GB international in 1988. He left athletics until his daughter, Dayna, decided to start running back in 2011 and he requalified as a coach. He ran 110m hurdles with a best time of 14.65s and his claim to fame is running against Colin Jackson in his 1st race over 110m hurdles. He is also a qualified field event official for the club.

Craig Murch - Pole Vault


Craig has been in athletics for as long as he can remember and specialises in the Hammer Throw.


He has been coached by three of the best hammer coaches in the UK and is currently coached by Gloucester AC Coach Lorraine Shaw. Craig was ranked 5th in the UK for the 2016 season and is hoping to qualify for the Commonwealth Games in 2018.


Craig also has a passion for Pole Vault and has experience in coaching beginners through to intermediate level. Having Graduated from Loughborough Uni in 2016 he is now Coaching a dedicated Pole Vault group. 


Lorraine Shaw


Lorraine is the 2002 Commonwealth Games Champion and former UK Record Holder. She has extensive experience coaching hammer from beginner to Olympic standard.

Tim Williams


Tim has been coached at hammer by Lorraine at the club since 2002 and is the club record holder for the hammer throw. He won the BUCS Championship in 2012.

Multi Events

Matt Holloway


Matt is an athletics coach and event group jumps, sprints & hurdles coach.  He runs his own business as a strength and conditioning coach and personal trainer. He has always been a keen follower of athletics and loves the variation and challenge of combined events. Matt has great fun coaching the group and strives to get the best out of each athlete. Anyone who is interested in training in the heptathlon or decathlon is welcome to enquire about joining the group.


Ian Summers


Ian aka "Lofty" is a Level 3 Endurance Coach and has been running road races, cross-country and multi terrain events, including a umber of ultra-distance races, ever since he joined the club 20 years ago. He has been cross-country captain and has organised many races for the club over the years. He has also competed for the club in track and field and is a Level 2 Field Judge.

Dave Gresswell


Dave is a UKA Coach Level 2 (Endurance). A distance runner for 25 years, Dave has taken part in hundreds of local, national, and overseas events. Dave helps coach the senior distance athletes on Tuesday and Thursday club sessions. Dave is also a qualified track official, and helps organise some of the clubs annual road races.

Arthur Daley

Arthur Daley is a Coach in Running Fitness and Endurance Coach. As an active distance runner he enjoys competing on track, road and cross country. He has recently represented England Masters on the road and country and has, since 2011, consistently been ranked over road and track in the top ten in his age group for distances from 1 mile to 10K. He also officiates, being qualified in all four track and field disciplines and as an endurance official in competitions from local to international level. 

Peter Jeffery

Proud to say a lifelong sports enthusiast, having overcome cruciate ligament surgery and inspired by my family & Gloucester Athletic Club to return to running. I try to regularly run 10Ks and Parkruns and want to encourage all ages to get involved. I have recently completed an English Athletics Coaching Course to help Russell and Arthur, as they do so much work and deserve extra support.


Bob Purcell


Bob is a level 3 coach in speed, strength and conditioning, He is presently focused on coaching para-athletes including racing wheelchair, racerunning, ambulant throws and ambulant running across a range of classifications. He is  also a Field Official and Timekeeper. Bob has served Gloucester AC in a variety of coaching, officiating, managerial and developmental roles since 1993. He was also instrumental, with colleagues, in the redevelopment of the Blackbridge Track in partnership with the City Council and continues to take a leading role in its maintenance and management.