Join the Birchfield 2022 club.  Find out more

News

Sad loss of a unique coach

May 12th 2021, 9:00:00 am

Birchfield Harriers is sad to report the loss of coach Bob Copeman.

Stag black and white

A COACH AHEAD OF HIS TIME

Birchfield Harriers is sad to report the loss of coach Bob Copeman. He was known as a coach whose ideas were well ahead of his time in the era he was coaching, and he was a great innovator. From unique starting blocks to technique to improve leg speed his ideas were welcomed by some and treated with scepticism by others but whichever side of the fence you were on it was always recognised that Bob was somewhat of a revolutionary in the sport.

One of his athletes Judy Thomas sums him up perfectly:

“All I would simply like to say is that he was a perfect gentleman.  Operating ahead of his time, combining traditional coaching and training techniques, with science to bring the best out of athletes.  These same techniques have since been used by the Olympic rowing and cycling teams to great effect.  He loved driving around in his old red Jaguar with a personalised number plate, which often turned heads when he arrived at the track.  He loved going out for a good meal and always tipped well if he had good service which often shocked the waiters and bar staff.

Some said he was eccentric, but he was simply Bob.  Big heart. Sadly, he died alone."