Thirteen BMX coaches from 10 countries have just completed a week-long Level 2 BMX course with the aim of further developing the discipline in Asia. It was organised from November 17 to 22 thanks to the collaboration between the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the Asian Cycling Confederation (ACC) and the Thai Cycling Association.

UCI BMX Coach Thomas Allier flew out from the UCI World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland, to give the course which combined theory classes and practical sessions on the Pattaya PRC BMX track.

Allier, himself a former World Champion, already coaches several Asian athletes in Switzerland, notably 2013 World Championships finalist and reigning Asian Champion Yoshitaku Nagasako (Japan) and up until this year two Indonesian athletes Elga Kharisma and Toni Syarifudin.

While these riders have benefitted from the expert coaching and facilities at the World Cycling Centre in Aigle, the aim is to raise the standard of coaching on the Asian continent so athletes can receive high-level coaching in their own countries.

Participants on last week’s course came from Thailand, Iran, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia. Some had little previous experience coaching BMX while others were already in charge of preparing their national riders for major international competitions.

“Their thirst to learn was incredible,” says Thomas Allier. “They gave everything they had to progress and improve.  BMX is taking off in Asia, and these coaches learnt a great deal during the week. Some definitely have the ability to go onto a higher level.”

Two other BMX coaching courses have already been held in Asia this year, in Iran and Korea.

“There is still a huge potential for further developing BMX in Asia and one of the best ways to do this is by raising the standard of coaching,” explained WCC Training Coordinator Belinda Tarling. “There is no shortage of talent on the continent, and our three BMX coaching courses held in Asia this year demonstrate that the commitment is there to professionalise the coaches.”

She added that applications from National Federations were already being processed for courses in 2015. These courses will range from Level 1 generic coaching courses to Level 2 courses for specific disciplines. The aim is that coaches will progress from Level 2 to attend the UCI coaching Diploma at the WCC in Aigle.