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Structures of coaching important - Harries

Ian Harries has produced 35 international athletes and he has been in the game for 46 years.

Ian Harries has produced 35 international athletes and he has been in the game for 46 years.  Picture: sxc.hu.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Athletics Coach in Zimbabwe Ian Harries said there is plenty of talent in the country which needs to be developed from primary school.

Harries has worked with athletes at six of the last nine Olympic games and amongst some of his athletes is 2004 800m silver medallist, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi.

The former coach spoke to Sports Talk about what needs to be done to improve athletics in South Africa.

"The government needs to express its earnest commitment to helping both the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee and Athletics South Africa, once the three get together, they need to create a structure that's in line with other world class federations and to get a meaningful coaching structure underneath that."

Harries added that coaches also need to be adequately equipped to deal with athletes so they should also receive education and training on coaching.

"The problem is coaches aren't nationally coordinated. We need to find finances to put together a national high performance director. We need a structure that will help with both coaches and athletes."

Harries emphasised coaches help the country perform at the highest level and must be counted amongst the best in the world.

"We have to look globally for the expertise the use what local talent we have in coaching to help bring up the local athletes."

Harries has produced 35 international athletes and he has been in the game for 46 years.

Meanwhile, South Africa has not been performing at the level of other sporting codes like swimming when it comes to world championships and as a result our athletes seem to be less prepared to take on what the world has to offer.