Coaching Lives ‑ Profiling Borders athletics coaches. Week seven: Thomas Allan (Addie) Gray

Addie Gray (Kelso) Pro running coach.
Addie Gray (Kelso) Pro running coach.

Number of years as a coach: 43.

Club: Kelso.

Base: Shedden Park and Croft Park.

Number of athletes: 10.

Hours of training per week: Five or six sessions per week (around two hours per session) depending on competition schedule.

Greatest achievement in coaching: Witnessing two of my athletes, Craig Patterson and Colin Welsh winning the British 800m Championship. Being a middle-distance runner myself, both victories were very special to me. My biggest win as an athlete was winning the Jed mile when I was 60, which was also a great moment in my career.

Inspiration: My brother Henry. He was 10 years my senior and was my first coach. We had our moments, but on the whole I learned a great deal from him, much of which I pass on to my own athletes today.

What makes a good athlete: Someone who turns up to training on time, rain, hail or shine. Which at the moment means mostly rain! Also someone who is willing to listen to advice and to take it on board.

Most enjoy about coaching: Seeing my athletes improving and coming through as they get older. I have had many ups and downs as a coach and you learn to take the good with the bad, but on the whole it has been mostly good.

Least enjoy: Injuries and cancelled meetings. These are mostly caused by the weather and it’s a real pain, especially when the athletes have worked so hard with a specific goal in mind.

Aims for 2012 and beyond: To stick at it and hope my athletes keep improving. I would love to see better facilities for athletics in Kelso. An artificial surface would be ideal and is something we really need here. Lastly, I have never had a New Year Sprint winner and that is something that is definitely on my wish list.