Forfar’s Peter Walker insists the future of British sailing is bright as a batch of talented youngsters tries to emulate their predecessors.
Team GB won five sailing medals at the London 2012 Olympics and Walker, who is head coach for the National Youth Laser Squad, is adamant that the new breed can produce just as spectacular results.
The 35-year-old was a talented Laser sailor himself but moved into coaching after missing out on qualification for the Athens Olympics in 2004.
And Walker insists that the next generation, which includes the likes of World U21 champion Lorenzo Chiavarini, are set to make their mark.
He said: “We’re getting some good results from the guys and their delivery which is great for the pathway. The big challenge now is the next group.
“Ultimately they’re putting in all the sacrifices and it’s about making their journey work and that’s really satisfying when it does work.
“The guys are in good shape and hopefully they will either be attending Rio or be a really good training partner for Nick Thompson who’s in our class.
“Ultimately they need that experience in Rio to then deliver in Tokyo after that.
“I’ve got a great squad of guys who work really well together but if you’re talking about the person who had the best results in the year, that’s simple and that’s Lorenzo and that’s just the numbers game.”
Walker was speaking after being named Performance Development Coach of the Year at the 2014 UK Coaching Awards, supported by Gillette, held at the Glasgow City Chambers on Wednesday evening.
The awards celebrate outstanding successes and achievements of some of the UK’s top coaches from a variety of different standards and sporting disciplines.
And Walker believes that the exposure and recognition for coaching provided by the awards is invaluable.
He continued: “Personally I think it’s fantastic to have Gillette on board because it puts the profile of coaching a little bit higher up.
“Getting support for people to help them develop as they see appropriate is really important. That’s where it all starts – at community level.
“I’ve been lucky to start my pathway where I have as an athlete but then there have been so many coaches that have influenced my athletes.
“If we didn’t have those volunteers, the community coaches, the regional coaches, the national coaches underpinning it all, we wouldn’t have the end product of the system and it is a massive coaching chain that is delivered.”
Peter Walker was speaking at the UK Coaching Awards, supported by Gillette.