Close catches coaching vision

Date posted: 13/06/18

Close catches coaching vision


Having first attended Sports Plus as a 13-year-old, Beth Close is now pairing her passion for faith and athletics as a coach.

An England international 400m hurdler, Beth has just graduated from the University of Bath. But in August she will be back on the university’s track to coach athletics at our new Monkton Sports Plus camp.

“As I grew up, I got involved in a little bit of coaching at my club. I had a passion for athletics and teaching young people and I was really inspired by my coach at Sports Plus, Heidi Smith. She was always so accommodating and helpful to me in my sport, even though she normally coaches longer distance athletes.

“I also have a real passion for sharing the message of Jesus, so to be able to coach and do that at the same time is awesome. It will be really cool to coach on the same track I trained at during uni.”

Close catches coaching visionBeth was an Assistant Coach alongside Heidi at Sports Plus Repton last summer, having been a Trainee the year before.

“I really love being able to engage with young people. I gave my testimony in one of the water breaks last summer and they found it helpful. I told them a lot about my struggles and quite a few of the older ones could really relate to that. I was able to encourage and pray with them. It was lovely to see them wanting to become closer to God and do that within their sport.”

This year, supporters’ donations have part-funded Beth to secure her England Athletics Coaching Assistant qualification and are providing similar help to others training to be Sports Plus Coaches. In return, recipients of the funding commit to coach at Sports Plus in the longer term.

Beth added: “Heidi was a big influence on my life for many years at Sports Plus. I just want to be able to pass that on in my coaching. I am so thankful for all that she and Christians in Sport have done for me.”

Back Pages magazine summer 2018

This article appears in the Summer 2018 issue of Back Pages. To read the rest of the magazine, click here. 

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