King’s PE teacher became a world class coach

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Bruce Longden (1920-2012)

BORN in Sheffield, Bruce studied at Woodhouse Grammar School, before moving on to Loughborough College (now University), where he graduated in 1962 in Physical Education and Geography.

He went on to teach for two years in Romford, Essex, before becoming Head of PE at Kings School, Grantham, for four years.

Then the travelling passion started to be realised when he moved to Geneva, Switzerland, for four years as Deputy Director/Recreation Director at the International School (Lycee des Nations), returning to the UK in 1973, as Recreation Director of Crawley College of Technology, until 1977.

Although he was already coaching at this time, it became his career in 1977 when he became National Athletics Coach (South of the Thames), for the British Amateur Athletic Board (now UK:A).

Moving to Oslo, Norway, in 1984 (until 1988), as Head Coach for the Norwegian Athletic Federation.

After a brief spell as a Facilities Manager at Northwood Stadium, Stoke, he returned as a National Coach (North of the Thames) in 1991 with the British Athletics Federation (now UK:A), and remained there until its’ financial breakdown towards the end of the 90s..

While continuing to coach his own squad of athletes, he used his expertise in other sports (tennis, football, rugby union and rugby league), and continued to travel, establishing yet further links with coaches in different countries.

Having attended far too many major championships to list here, he coached athletes to World, Olympic, European and Commonwealth gold medals (and world records), worked as a visiting overseas coach for the International Athletic Federation (IAAF), European Athletic Association (EAA) and The British Council, but his passion remained, and he continued to help as many athletes and coaches as he could, helping them to achieve their personal own goals.