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Scott Simpson - “Should I stay, or should I go…?” - uCoach

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Scott Simpson - “Should I stay, or should I go…?”

Over the last 12 years, Scott has moved from being a competitor at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne to his current position as the British Athletics ‘National Performance Institute’ Senior Coach for Pole Vault. During this time, Scott has juggled the many demands of international competition, professional development, performance coaching and studying for his PhD.

Following the 2010 Commonwealth Games, where Scott held the position as Jumps Coach for Team Wales, he took up the combined position of Development Coach for UKA and the National Coach Mentor for England Athletics. This was before returning to Wales as the National Performance Coach in September 2012, before that role evolved to become the Head of Coaching and Performance in 2014. Following the successful Gold Coast Games in 2018, Scott returned to work for UKA in his current role.

The Athlete

In 2001 Scott was UK Under-23 Champion and captain of the Great Britain Under-23 Team. In 2002 his UK senior ranking was 2nd. He placed 2nd at the UK Olympic trials in both 2004 and 2008, and in 2006 placed 6th in the pole vault final at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games. In 2007 he represented the GB Senior Team. In 2007, Scott set the Welsh National Indoor Pole Vault record at 5.42m. During this period Scott learned his trade under the tutelage of the following coaches; Tim Snowdon 1993-2003, David Lease 2003-2006, Gareth Lease 2006-2007, Steve Rippon 2007-2008.


In 2003 Scott gained a BSc. 1st Class Honours Degree in Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Wales Institute Cardiff. He is also studied towards his PhD in “the Biomechanics of Triple Jumping” from 2005 - 2007. Scott has had a number of articles published in the Journal of the Proceedings of the 25th International Symposium on Biomechanics in Sports 2007 (Department of Sport, Brazil). In 2009 the Journal of Sport Sciences published an article of his on “Movement Co-ordination in Triple Jump Training Drills”. More recently his publications have come from his supervisory work of various PhD studies and via coach development articles.

Employment and Coaching

Scott was Director of Athletics at UWIC (now Cardiff Metropolitan University) from 2008 - 2010. During this period, he was also the Welsh Athletics ‘National Event Group Lead’ for Jumps. In 2010 he assumed the combined role of National Coach Mentor (Pole Vault) for England Athletics and UKA National Development Coach (Jumps). He subsequently assumed the role as Welsh Athletics Head of Coaching and Performance before taking his current role as the NPI Senior Coach for Pole Vault with British Athletics.

Scott is a UKA level 4 Performance coach. In 2009 he was Great Britain Pole Vault coach at the European Under-23 Championships in Lithuania and in the same year attended the Berlin World Championships as part of the IAAF World Class Coaches Club. At the 2010 Commonwealth Games he was the Welsh Athletics Jumps coach and in 2011 was the Jumps Coach for the Great Britain team at the World University Games. He attended the Daegu World Championships in 2011 and the London Olympic Games in 2012 as personal coach to Kate Dennison (now Rooney). In 2013, he assisted Dan Pfaff in coaching Holly Bleasdale (now Bradshaw) to her Gold medal at the European Indoor Championships. In 2014, he guided Sally Peake to her Commonwealth Games silver medal in Glasgow and at the same event, coached Paul Walker to his 5th place finish. In 2015 he was the GB Team Coach at the European Team Championships (where Sally Peake placed 7th) and again at the World Championships in Beijing where he supported Holly Bradshaw to her 7th place finish. Scott earned his Olympic selection in 2016 as the Team Coach (pole vault) for Team GB; where Holly Bradshaw finished 5th. He went on to be the Team Coach for GB at the London 2017 World Championships where Holly Bradshaw placed 6th.

As part of his role with Welsh Athletics, Scott was Head Coach and Team Leader at both the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games. At the 2018 European Championships, Scott was the Team Coach for Pole Vault with the British team and led a record number of 5 pole vaulters at those Championships. Holly Bradshaw went on to claim her first senior, outdoor major Championship medal with a bronze.

Athletes Currently Coached

Holly Bradshaw (nee Bleasdale) (2013-present) PB: 4.87i / 4.81 European Indoor Championships 2013 (Gold); European Championships 2018 (bronze); Olympic Games 2016; World Championships 2017, 2015; World Indoor Championships 2014, UK Championships 2018 (Gold), 2017 (Gold), 2016 (Gold), 2015 (Gold); UK Indoor Championships 2014 (Gold), 2013 (Gold)

Athletes Previously Coached

Kate Dennison (now Rooney) (2010-2012) PB: 4.60 to 4.61 World Championships 2011; Olympic Games 2012

Sally Peake (2008-2018) PB: Beginner to 4.42i / 4.40 Commonwealth Games 2018, 2014 (Silver), 2010; World University Games 2011; European Championships 2012, European Team Championships 2017, 2015; UK Championships 2018 (Bronze), 2017 (Bronze), 2016 (Silver), 2014 (Gold), 2013 (Gold), 2012 (Silver); UK Indoor Championships 2018 (Bronze), 2017 (Silver), 2016 (Gold), 2015 (Gold), 2014 (Bronze), 2012 (Bronze), 2011 (Bronze)

Emma Lyons (2005-2010) PB: 3.35 to 4.31i / 4.25 European U23 Championships 2009, 2007; Commonwealth Games 2010

Bryony Raine (2005-2014) PB: 3.20 to 4.16 Commonwealth Games 2010

Louise Butterworth (2004-2007)

PB: Beginner to 4.15 European U23 Championships 2007

Jessica Abraham (2008-2011, 2015-2017)

PB: 3.70 to 4.02i / 4.00 Welsh International

Paul Walker (2011-2016)

PB: 5.43 to 5.45i / 5.40

Commonwealth Games 2014; UK Championships 2014 (Bronze), UK Indoor Championships (Silver)

Nick Cruchley (2010-2012, 2013-2014, 2015-2017) PB: 5.21 to 5.42 UK Championship 2011 (Silver); UK U23 Championships 2011 (Gold)

Athletes Previously Supported

Kirsty Maguire (2009-2010) PB: 4.15 Lead Coach: Kevin Maguire

Steve Lewis (2012-2013) PB: 5.82 Lead Coach: Dan Pfaff

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