Matt Dravitzki has been running and experimenting on himself for nearly 30 years. He won a couple of NZ champs and ran a 2.13 marathon. He coaches a small group of athletes - a couple of whom have also won NZ titles. He believes that results in distance running come from sustained periods of consistent and well balanced training.
Todd Stevens uses his own experiences from 25 years of competitive running, 15 years as captain of the club’s senior men’s A team and from winning the Rotorua and NZ Marathon Championship to formulate his coaching programmes. His approach to coaching is based on the Lydiard system and he believes in building a strong aerobic fitness base. Todd has a particular interest in assisting the “average” club member to achieve their goals, be it a sub-1 hour 30 half marathon, a sub-3 hour 30 full marathon, or indeed just to complete a marathon.
Jonathan Harper coaches a small but successful group of primary school cross country and track athletes, and takes care of our J Team. He coached his daughter Ariana for a number of years. She has won several national titles as a junior woman. Jonathon is also a trained and experienced schoolteacher, adult education tutor, social worker and psychologist. He finds all those skills useful in the coaching role.
Chandima Kulathilake aka “Chand” has over a decade built up his running with a no nonsense approach to improving running performance by focusing over short, medium and long term goals. By applying his years of practical knowledge in running and building gradually, Chan focuses on helping new and intermediate runners in reaching their goals in road or trail running.
Rowan was regarded as a keen but rather slow 800m runner in his teenage years. He subsequently found the longer distances more to his liking going on to win both the Christchurch and Auckland city marathons, whilst retaining enough speed to run a decent 5km (14:10). Like most endurance-focused athletes his coaching approach is based around building a strong aerobic base then moving to more race specific sessions. He's also a strong believer in regular racing - whilst this might contradict the previous sentence, it's the fun bit and hence the reason for all the training!
Michael, a masters runner has discovered the older he gets the faster he runs - something he knows biology will reverse at some stage. Michael has won numerous regional, national and Oceania titles in distances of 800m to the marathon covering the disciplines of road, cross country, track and mountain running. Michael uses a training philosophy blended from a number of sources, informed by reading established coaching texts, personal training/racing experiences and wisdom received from his own coach and peers. He has coached a mix of abilities and enjoys helping runners to meet their goals. He has helped beginners target a sub-2 half marathon, masters runners target a 55:00 10km and marathon runners to Boston qualification.
Coaching philosophy is based around two basic maxims:
1. The word is "training," not "straining," and
2. Training is like getting a sun tan ie a little bit each day is better than a lot every three or four days.
"I coach because this is a way I can put back something into the sport that I have enjoyed so much, and I get my motivation from the pleasure and enjoyment my athletes get from achieving their goals. My methodology is a mixture of ideas, mainly from Arthur Lydiard, Ron Clarke and Roger Robinson, tested by practical application, but I am still learning and adapting from talking to athletes and coaches."
Don was active at club level for more than 40 years and can claim a victory over Rod Dixon over 10 miles on the road! Don has coached many Athletics New Zealand and New Zealand Secondary Schools titleholders from 800 metres upwards, including several NZ representatives at World championship and several athletes who have obtained scholarships to American universities. He has a BBS majoring in sports coaching and management from Massey University and a level 3 Middle Distance qualification from Athletics New Zealand. He has a large squad, mainly college age, both male and female, from elite down to beginners, from any club, and also coaches by email for athletes outside Wellington. Don believes that swimming and cycling form a valuable part of training, enabling athletes to maintain fitness while unable to run. Also, these extra forms of training give variety to an athlete's training programme.