Steven remains on track for coaching success

Posted: 22/08/2016 | Scottish War Blinded

We last spoke to Steven Waterston in June 2014, following his nomination by Scottish War Blinded to run part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Baton Relay in recognition of his determination in overcoming a visual impairment and neurosurgery to continue his passion for athletics.

Steven worked during that time with fellow Scottish War Blinded members in the gym at the Linburn Centre as part of his work experience modules to gain a B-Tec Level/HND in Sports & Exercise qualification. Since then, Steven has completed UK Athletics coaching courses, qualified as Personal Trainer and now works with promising young athletes as a coach at Meadowbank Stadium.

We caught up with Steven to learn more about the coaching programmes he delivers to young athletes as well as his own progress as a visually impaired runner.

Steven describes the programme of coaching he delivers:

“The coaching programme includes the fundamentals of Run Jump Throw (RJT), which incorporates foundation movement patterns to help improve performance and minimise potential injury. The athletic season consists of three macro-cycles which focus on endurance based aerobic conditioning, strength and conditioning as well as speed.”

When asked whether fun is the key factor as opposed to competition at this age, Steven added:

“This is a competitive environment and the kids are keen to see progress and win events, so it can be quite challenging to keep everyone motivated. The coaching is designed to encourage and nurture competition whilst simultaneously promoting the values of sportsmanship and fun. If you lose the element of competition, the kids may not engage with the activity or reach their full potential.”

Steven is an IPC Cerebral Palsy qualified athlete who regularly competes in races across the country. As Steven admits, his advancing years provide greater wisdom with regards to his running and achieving his own personal goals:

“I’m still running and getting older. I am now better able to understand my limitations and capabilities which helps me keep fit and pacify my need to run. So far this year, I’ve completed a number of races over 10 mile, 20 mile, half and full marathon distances, which included recording a marathon personal best of 3:51. Although, as a runner, I am never contented with times and I am always trying push the boundaries.”

Having seen several pictures of Steven running races using his cane, he provides further insight as to why he uses it:

“The cane is more for other than for myself as it identifies me as a visually impaired athlete. I generally use my cane in busier areas of the race and water stops to avoid trips and falls.”

When asked about his plans for future, Steven said:

“I have autumn races booked and currently training for them as well as waiting to see if I have been successful in the ballot for the 2017 London Marathon. I also love the coaching and really enjoy seeing the kids with smiles on their faces after they win a race or set a new personal best, so no plans to change that. I am also completing a diploma as an advanced personal trainer for obese and diabetic medical referrals which I am due to finish over the next couple of months.”

Did you know Scottish War Blinded supports veterans of the Armed Forces who have have encountered sight loss both during service or in subsequent later life? Lean more about our membership criteria