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A Tribute to Bruce Longden
from England Athletics

England Athletics was greatly saddened by the death of Bruce Longden at the age of 72. Bruce was coach to Sally Gunnell and Daley Thompson, among many others, and his outstanding contribution to our sport was recognised when he was inducted into our Hall of Fame last year. The sport of athletics is the poorer for his passing.

Bruce’s record as a coach speaks for itself. To coach one athlete to an Olympic title and world record is a monumental achievement, but in Bruce’s case he guided two of Britain’s greatest ever athletes to the ultimate distinction in the sport.

A graduate of Loughborough College (now Loughborough University), he was at first a teacher before spending four years as Deputy Director and Recreation Director at the International School in Geneva. He returned to Britain in 1973 to become Recreation Director at Crawley College of Technology.

It was in 1976, a year before being appointed a BAAB National Coach, that he began coaching a precocious all-rounder by the name of Daley Thompson. That year Thompson improved his UK junior decathlon record from 6941 to an astonishing 7748. He made the Olympic team and in Montreal, where he celebrated his 18th birthday, he impressed the American winner and world record breaker Bruce Jenner to such an extent that he nominated Daley as his likely successor. He proved to be correct.
Over those next four years Thompson gradually approached, and then surpassed, Jenner’s score of 8634. In 1977 he set world junior records of 8056 and 8082; in 1978, a few days after his 20th birthday, he scored 8470 (but with a long jump over the permitted wind limit) to lift the Commonwealth title; and in 1980 he set his first world record of 8648 prior to becoming Olympic champion in Moscow. Over a six year period he achieved a momentous decathlon win streak of 12, winning Commonwealth and European titles in 1982, becoming inaugural world champion in 1983, defending his Olympic laurels in 1984 (with a world record 8847) and retaining the Commonwealth and European championships in 1986.

Bruce continued as a BAAB National Coach, as well as being Chief Coach to England teams, until 1984 when he accepted a four-year appointment as Head Coach for the Norwegian Athletic Federation. Meanwhile, he was coaching another athlete who would hit the heights in Sally Gunnell. Initially an English Schools long jump champion, she too developed her all-round ability to set British age-16 and 17 heptathlon bests.

Thereafter she concentrated on the 100m hurdles, to such good effect that in 1986 she won the Commonwealth title. However, although she would eventually succeed Shirley Strong as British record holder with 12.82 Bruce realised Sally would never be a world beater at that event and encouraged her to try the 400m hurdles. In her first serious season, 1988, she set a UK record of 54.03 for fifth in the Olympics and by 1992 she was ready to take on the world, capturing the Olympic title in 53.23, and the following year she won the world title in a world record 52.74.

Bruce had returned to Britain to serve as a BAF National Coach, his specialist areas being the combined events, hurdles and jumps, and he and his wife Julie – herself a coach – divided their time between France and South Africa.

Ask The Athlete – Sally Gunnell on if she'd rather win another indivudal or team gold ...

Mar 30 , 2021  ·  

The Bruce Longden Coaching Foundation shared a video from the playlist Torun 2021 | Event Replays.
The Bruce Longden Coaching Foundation
Women's 60m hurdles final | Torun 2021 ...

Mar 13 , 2021  ·  

A very strong message, and wise words, from one of our Trustees, Sally Gunnell on International Women's Day #IWD2021 #ChooseToChallenge#IWD2021 💜#ChooseToChallengeI raise my hand to challenge gender inequality and bias.When I was an elite athlete, I was told several negative things about myself and my ability, by influential individuals in my sport, that had I chosen to listen to them, I may not have achieved my 4 major track titles.Luckily for me I chose not to listen to them. The people that were important to me were positive and supportive.I say to all women, you have the power to be the best you can be. Choose to believe in yourself, choose to be positive, choose to be your best. Choose it for YOU! You got this! 💜#powerfulwomen #genderequality #womensupportingwomen #womenempowerment #womeninspiringwomen #womeninbusiness #womeninfluencers #mondaymotivation #mondayvibes #monday ...

Mar 08 , 2021  ·  

The Best of Keni Harrison - Wanda Diamond League ...

Mar 01 , 2021  ·  

The Bruce Longden Coaching Foundation shared a video from the playlist 2021 World Athletics Indoor Tour.
The Bruce Longden Coaching Foundation
Men's 60m hurdles world record | World Athletics Indoor Tour ...

Feb 25 , 2021  ·  

And more good news!Following yesterdays announcement from the Prime Minister on outdoor organised sport resuming from Monday 29th March. We are now pleased to announce our proposed dates for this years Nuneaton Open Events.While we await full conformation from England Athletics & British Athletics, You can now view our full information at our website: shorturl.at/foAOQ ...

Feb 24 , 2021  ·  

Some good news!UoB Track Series is back for 2021!Following yesterday’s announcements, we are delighted to inform you that our track and field meetings should be all clear to take place this summer. Provisional dates are as follows:• April 21st• May 12th• June 9th• July 14thStay tuned for further updates regarding timetables and entries. https://www.ubsportathletic.co.uk/uob-track-seriesUoB Track Series organising committee x ...

Feb 24 , 2021  ·  

A reminder of the world 400m Hurdles record run in Doha!worldathletics • Original Audio ...

Feb 07 , 2021  ·  

Very wise words from Sally Pearson #trainhard #beyourself #hurdlingthroughlife #staysafe #stayhealthyandfit ...

Dec 04 , 2020  ·  

With the new Government regulations put in place yesterday, and the ever changing situation with regard to guidelines from England Athletics, we will not be holding any 300m/400m Hurdles Training days from October to December 2020. We did have dates booked, which we have now cancelled, and still have dates booked for January to March 2021, and will make a decision towards the end of the year with regard to these.Obviously we are all disappointed that we cannot go ahead with these, but the most important thing is the safety of you all, both coaches and athletes. Train when you can, in a safe environment.So please continue to stay safe and stay healthy. ...

Sep 23 , 2020  ·  

Aug 11 , 2020  ·  

No words needed #magicalmoments #memories #barcelona #olympics #gold28 yrs ago tonight this happened..... #olympicgold #forevergratful #trackandfield #400h #barcelona ...

Aug 05 , 2020  ·  

For all of you missing good 400m hurdles. Check this out #stayhome #staysafe #stayhealthy ...

Jul 04 , 2020  ·  

Here is Kathleen Shuttleworth's 4th Strength Workout. Filmed on one of Cape Town's stunning beaches, and accompanied by her two 4-legged assistants 🤣. Enjoy this sequence, but most importantly keep training hard. #active4life #stayhome #staysafe #stayhealthy ...

Jun 22 , 2020  ·  

So here is Kathleen Shuttleworth's next strength workout, as she suggests this is a session that can be done after your normal workout, whether that be a run or technical session. Alternatively, dip in and out and put together your own session from the suggestions she makes. The most important thing is to be out there (or in there!) being active! #active4life #stayhome #staysafe #stayhealthy ...

Jun 15 , 2020  ·  

GUIDANCE UPDATE: We have updated our England Athletics guidance documents - https://bit.ly/2zGfLIt - to reflect new government advice that allows groups of up to six people from different households to meet outside. This includes guidance on restricted activity enabling athletes/runners to exercise outdoors in groups of up to six people or for a coach plus up to five athletes/runners to train together (always maintaining 2m social distancing when from different households). 👉 Please read the full guidance documents on the England Athletics website at https://bit.ly/2zGfLIt ...

Jun 02 , 2020  ·  

The Bruce Longden Coaching Foundation shared a video from the playlist 50 Golden Moments.
The Bruce Longden Coaching Foundation
A great hurdles memory from the 1980s....enjoy #hurdles #memories #europeanathletics #staysafe ...

May 29 , 2020  ·  

Some exercises from Nolene Conrad that might just help all of you #stayhome #staysafe #stayhealthyI have put together a few glute strengthening exercises on my YouTube channel👇 https://youtu.be/whUAMDS75rMPicture by Roger Sedres Photo#gluteworkout #runners #strengthandconditioning #strongeradidas adidas Running Endurocad PeptoPro and PeptoSport ...

May 23 , 2020  ·  

Something to definitely put in your diaries #stayhome #staysafe #stayhealthyOne of the highlights in our ongoing series of Coaching webinars is on Fri 29 May (18:00), when we'll host An Evening With Kevin Young - Barcelona 1992 Olympic 400m Hurdles gold medallist, World Record holder (still!) and the first person to run the 400m hurdles in under 47 secs! View our full webinar schedule and register free at 👉 https://bit.ly/2JcVJ9D-#BetterTogether ...

May 22 , 2020  ·  

The Bruce Longden Coaching Foundation is with Nick Buckfield.
The Bruce Longden Coaching Foundation
Sadly this is the last in the current series of drills from Nick Buckfield. But a great one to finish on, as before, remember to do both legs! #stayhome #staysafe #stayhealthy ...

May 19 , 2020  ·  

The Bruce Longden Coaching Foundation is with Nick Buckfield.
The Bruce Longden Coaching Foundation
Here we go, it's another Super Sunday, where did the last week go 🤔. Continuing the rhythm and co-ordination theme, get those feet dancing#stayhome #staysafe #stayhealthy ...

May 17 , 2020  ·  

The Bruce Longden Coaching Foundation is with Nick Buckfield.
The Bruce Longden Coaching Foundation
Some dancing feet, rhythm and co-ordination for a Saturday morning. Keep training everyone. #stayhome #staysafe #stayhealthy ...

May 16 , 2020  ·  

The Bruce Longden Coaching Foundation is with Nick Buckfield.
The Bruce Longden Coaching Foundation
Some variation for you all, adding in some plyometrics, remember to do both legs though! #stayhome #staysafe #stayhealthy ...

May 15 , 2020  ·  

The Bruce Longden Coaching Foundation is with Nick Buckfield.
The Bruce Longden Coaching Foundation
A slight change of direction for todays drill! #stayhome #staysafe #stayhealthy ...

May 14 , 2020  ·  

The Bruce Longden Coaching Foundation is with Nick Buckfield.
The Bruce Longden Coaching Foundation
More drills to add to your daily routine, keep busy and stay focussed #stayhome #staysafe #stayhealthy ...

May 13 , 2020  ·  

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