Coach Profiles

Gary Collins
Gary CollinsCoaching qualification: Athletics Coach in Throws

Gary helps lead the children’s training sessions at the club. He is also a coach with Peterhead AC.  A retired fireman, Gary was an athlete with Peterhead AC in his youth.  His athletics idols include Daley Thompson, Brendan Foster, Jessica Ennis and Zoey Clark.

Nichola Crawford
DSC_0494 2
Coaching qualification: Athletics Coach
AAAC Development Level 2

Nichola co-coaches a group of young endurance athletes within the club and is the lead coach at the AAAC Albyn satellite group.  Nichola was awarded the 2021 Scottish Athletics Community Coach of the Year and was a finalist for Community/Participation Coach of the Year at the 2022 Aberdeen’s Sports Awards.

Fiona Davidson
FionaCoaching qualification: Athletics Coach – Jumps

Fiona works alongside Bob Masson and Mark Davidson.

Fiona has been involved in athletics for most of her life, starting out in the 100m to 400m distances before focussing on long jump and triple jump. In her youth she represented Scotland in Turkey in 1994 and has won many Scottish and British titles.

In 2015 she won the World Masters triple jump in the V40 age group and won silver in the triple jump and bronze in the long jump at the European Masters Indoor Championships.  She was Aberdeen’s Veteran Sports Achiever of the Year in 2017 and was was shortlisted for 2019 Team Scotland Volunteer of the Year.

Jane Davidson
jane-1Coaching qualification: Athletics Coach – Sprints & Hurdles

She says “I started coaching as a volunteer helper when I was 14 years old. I got my Assistant Coach license as soon as I turned 16. I love coaching. I get great pleasure from working with the kids. I hope they also enjoy having me as a coach”.

A previous gymnast, Jane has been an athlete with Aberdeen AAC since she was 9 years old and holds the club record for the 60m hurdles, 60m sprint and the long jump. She is also one of the four athletes who hold the club women’s record for the 4 x 200m relay. She has a personal best of 12.46 seconds for the 100m and 5.65m for the long jump.

When she started with the club, she tried all athletics events. She liked combined events (pentathlon) and competing in sprinting, hurdles, long jump, high jump and the shot put on the same day.

She says “as a youngster I was probably one of the littlest girls on the start line, but what I lacked in height I had in enthusiasm. I loved competing for the club and at national championships. It wasn’t until I was U15 (under 15 age group) that I won my first Scottish championship medal. By U17 I was winning championship medals in hurdles, long jump and heptathlon (7 events)”.

Jane was Scottish Senior 60m hurdles Indoor Champion in 2019. In 2020 she was Scottish U20 60m and 60m hurdles Indoor Champion. In 2020 she was invited to compete at the British Senior Championships for the first time.

She has represented Scotland at the SIAB Schools International and the Celtic Games.

One of the high-performance athletes in the club, she has been in the Aberdeen AAC Academy since its inception in 2016.

She is currently a student at the University of Aberdeen studying a Bachelor’s degree in Sports & Exercise and Science.

Mark Davidson
DSC_0714Coaching qualification: Athletics Coach
AAAC Development Level 3
AAAC Development level 2

Mark co-coaches a training group of multi event athletes at the club.

Mark has been with the club since 1978 and is currently Club President. Mark was part of the Scotland Team at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland where he competed in the 400m hurdles, the  4 x 400m relay and the 4 x 400m relay, where the team won a silver medal.  He was also a selection for GB U23 teams and the GB team for the 1991 World Student Games in Sheffield.

Mark won Scottish Athletics Volunteer of the Year in 2017.

Dylan Dickie
Dylan 2Coaching qualification: UKA Coaching Assistant

Dylan coaches at the club 5.30 children’s sessions, the AAAC/ASV recreational athletics sessions and at Inchgarth satellite.  He trains and competes in distance running for Aberdeen AAC and recently won silver in the U17 boys Laser Run competition representing Scotland at the School Games.

Robert Dickson
Level 2 Performance Coach
AAAC Development Level 2
AAAC Development Level 1

Bob joined the club when his daughter joined in the late 1990s.  Bob coaches distance runners at the club who participate in Parkrun events, road races–5k to marathon distances–and hill races.  He also coaches wheelchair racing.  Bob is a keen marathoner, having completed both the Baxters Loch Ness and Virgin London marathons.

Kieran Downie
DSC_0546 2
Coaching qualification: UKA Coaching Assistant

Kieran helps with the 5:30 – 6:30PM children’s sessions.  Kieran is a distance runner in the club and takes part in team competition in the 800m, 1500m and 3000m.  He also regularly attends the Aberdeen parkrun.

Catriona Fulton
catriona-copyCoaching qualification: Coach in Running Fitness, Jog Leader

Catriona leads the Jog Scotland group at the club with Charlie. She also takes the Kingswells Jog Scotland group.

Frank Gauld
Coach qualifications : UKA Level 3 Event Group (Sprints and Hurdles)
AAAC Development Level 3
AAAC Development Level 2
AAAC Development level 1

Specialisation : Sprints and Hurdles from beginners and development age athletes through to senior national standard.

Posts Held : Past Aberdeen AAC Vice President and Ordinary Committee member for many years and presently an Honorary Member.

Personal Achievements : Scottish Masters M45 400m Champion 2000. Held current and past club records in 200m, 300m, 400m Indoor and Outdoors. Coached a sprint hurdler to Commonwealth Youth Games in 2011 and coached athletes to national medals and to international level.

Ambitions : To develop a hard-working, technically proficient, committed sprinters and hurdlers who have the potential, determination, confidence, motivation and capability of competing successfully at national and international level.
To continue to learn and develop as a coach through self-reflection and taking external advice to assist with improving my areas of weakness.

Sporting Icons : Athletes David Bedford, Seb Coe, Sally Pearson, Jess Ennis, Paula Radcliffe, Liz McGolgan

Personal Advice/ Tip : I believe that athletics at all levels should be enjoyable to all participants. I see my job as coach to help athletes achieve their ambitions but the drive to succeed must come from within the athletes themselves.

It doesn’t matter how ‘talented’ an athlete is, they must also have an in-built desire to continue to listen to advice, to learn their sport, have a thirst for hard work, the drive to be the very best they can be and the courage to carry it out.

Athletes develop at different rates so early ‘success’ is no guarantee of high achievement at a later stage just as a lack of success early on can be no clear indicator of success potential in later years.

Frank was shortlisted for Scottish Athletics Coach of the Year in 2017, and in 2020 won Aberdeenshire Coach of the Year.

Eddie Graham
Eddie GrahamCoaching qualification: Athletics Coach (Sprints and Hurdles)
AAAC Development Level 1

Eddie also completed the Foundation Course that predated the Athlete Preparation courses back in 2015.

Eddie is a former Kilbarchan Athletics athlete and was lead off in their Scottish 4 x 400m Under 15 Boys Scottish Championship Team in 1980.  He’s been volunteering, coaching at Ellon AAC since 2008 and has held various roles at the club, including Chair, Secretary and Coaching Coordinator.

Eddie is excited about the opportunity to expand his coaching experience at Aberdeen AAC and is looking forward to helping broaden the outreach of athletics coaching in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

Liz Hewitson
Event Group Coach – Jumps
AAAC Development Level 3
AAAC Development Level 2
AAAC Development Level 1

Liz coaches a number of different age groups at the club, from 12 years old to masters.  A number are Scottish Age Group champions and have represented Scotland at school and university level.  She coaches all the jumps, plus Combined Events.

Kene Ileagu
Kene 2Coaching qualification: UKA Coaching Assistant

Kene coaches at the AAAC/ASV community sessions. He trains and competes as a sprinter at the club.

James Joy
James Joy 2
Athletics Qualifications: UKA Level 2 Endurance
AAAC Children’s Sessions

Specialisation: General coaching for beginners

Posts Held: Men’s Cross Country Captain

Personal Achievements: Various achievements in middle distance track and cross country, including medals at Scottish Schools and Scottish National Championships; Scottish representation at the British Schools International 2008; Scottish U23 800m Champion 2010.

Ambitions: As an individual athlete I plan to break the AAAC 800m record. As a coach, I try to help others gain as much as they can from the sport and do what I can to help facilitate that opportunity.

Sporting Icons: Mo Farah, Seb Coe, Bradley Wiggins, Kelly Holmes, all the classic Brits.

Personal Advice: Stick at it! It takes a lot of time and practice to get it right, just don’t give it up when the potential’s still there.

James was shortlisted for Scottish Athletics Children’s Coach of the Year in 2014.

Coby Keith
Coby 2Coaching qualification: UKA Coaching Assistant

Coby coaches at the AAAC/ASV community sessions and assists Steven Murray with a sprints group at the club. He is a sprinter and regularly competes.

Paul Kelly

DSC_0179 2Coaching qualification: Event Group Endurance

Paul is one of the Lead coaches at the children’s recreational athletics sessions at the Inverurie and Westhill satellites. He also coaches for Active Schools Aberdeenshire.  Paul is a keen distance runner, running most days.

Kenny Lyon
DSCN2649 2
Coaching qualification: Athletics Coach and pole vault
AAAC Development Level 3
AAAC Development Level 2
AAAC Development Level 1

Kenny coaches Combined Event athletes at the club.

Kenny joined the club in 1973 starting as a cross country runner before taking up combined events.  He competes in Decathlon, long jump and triple jump at Masters level at Scottish, British and World Championships.

Kenny holds a number of club Veteran records.

Eoghan MacNamara
DSC_0423 2
Event Group – Sprints & Hurdles
AAAC Development Level 3

Eoghan takes a sprints group for university students at the club.

He was President of Aberdeen University Athletic Club and regularly competed for them in distance running.  He represented Scottish Universities in the 800m in 2016.

Kathleen Madigan
Kathleen 3
Event Group – Sprints & Hurdles, Throws, Jumps
AAAC Development Level 3
AAAC Development Level 2
AAAC Development Level 1

Kathleen coaches shot put, javelin, discus, hammer and sprinting at the club.

Kathleen joined the club as a 9 year old, after her dad spotted she was a promising sprinter.

Trevor Madigan
Level 2 Sprints and Hurdles Coach
AAAC Development Level 3

Trevor has been involved with AAAC since his daughter took up athletics over 30 years ago. He has held many roles at the club including Club President.  His training group consist of athletes specialising in short and long sprints.  Trevor was awarded the 2014 Sportscotland Grampian Performance Coach of the Year and 2014 Disability Coach of the Year due to his work with disabled athletes, including Lewis Clow a category T37 sprinter who competed at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Trevor regularly competes in the Scottish and British Masters Track and Field Championships, and has been British High Jump champion for his age group.  He headed both High Jump and Long Jump in the British rankings in his age group for 2016.

Bob Masson
Bob Masson 2
Level 3 Performance Coach; Level 3  Long Jump, Triple Jump, Shot put, Discus
AAAC Development Level 3
AAAC Development Level 2

Bob coaches several Combined Event athletes in the club.

Bob has been with the club over 40 years joining around 1972, the first year the Scottish League started.  He has competed for the club in the Mens League every year since 1972 til 2016 and has competed in every athletic event that is on an Olympic Mens Programme, except walks.

Bob was the coach of club members Duncan Mathieson and Mark Davidson who represented Scotland in the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland. Duncan was selected for the decathlon and Mark the 400m hurdles. They both ran in the 4 x 400m relay, Duncan in the heats and Mark in the final, setting a Scottish record that stood for 24 years.  He occasionally advises Fiona Davidson, World Masters Champion in triple jump in 2015.

He still competes and holds many of the club veteran records for throwing events and pole vault. He has been ranked No.1 in Britain for his age in pole vault on several occasions and won the decathlon for his age group at the British Masters in 2007.

Bob was on the Committee for 40 years and was club Vice President.  Bob received Scottish Athletics Lifetime Honorary Membership in 2021.

Alison McGee
Alison McGee 2Coaching qualification: Assistant Coach.

Alison works alongside Bob Masson and Mark Davidson.

She got into athletics due to her daughter, Ellie.  Alison is also an official, working her way up the qualifications.  She tries to stay active due to a spinal injury in 2016 which made her take up running.

Romana McGuire
DSC_0015 2Coaching qualification: UKA Coaching Assistant

AAAC Development Level 1 Endurance

Romana takes the training for the youngest endurance group at the club. She joined the club coaching team when her children started at the club.

Charlie McHardy
Charlie McHardy 2Coaching qualification: Jog Leader

Charlie leads the Jog Scotland group at the club with Catriona. He is an ultra runner, having completed many ultra events. He finished 10th in the 2022 Deeside 33 in 4.06.50 and 4th in the 2022 50K Self Transcendence race. As of April 2022, he is ranked 5th in the UK for the 50K.

Hannah Mutch
Coaching qualification: Athletics Coach

Hannah is an endurance athlete at the club and has been first female at the Aberdeen Beach Parkrun over 40 times. She coaches at the club children’s 5:30 sessions.

Hannah is also an accomplished bagpipe player.

Barbara-anne Needs
DSC_0540 2Coaching Qualifications: Athletics Coach (speed) & Event Group Endurance

Barbara-anne volunteers with junior sessions at ASV.  She is also a lead coach at Peterhead AC and an Active Schools volunteer.  In her spare time she enjoys various outdoor activities, including running, particularly half marathon/marathon distances.

Aaron Odentz
Aaron Odentz 3Coaching qualification: Event Group Endurance
AAAC Development Level 3 endurance

Aaron is an Endurance Coach operating at Level 1 in the club. He is also an athlete with the club, winning the Baker Hughes 10K in 2019. He has been with the club since he started as an U13 in 2011, taking part in 800m, 1500m, steeplechase, cross country and 10K races.

At Aberdeen’s Sports Awards in 2022, Aaron was named Young Coach of the Year.

Waldemar Ostatek
Waldi 2Coaching qualification: UKA Coaching Assistant

Woldemar has a background in competitive rowing. He assists Ruth, Ed, and Phil with the group they take at the club and has aspirations to become an endurance coach. A distance runner himself, he trains for marathons.

Waldi’s motto is “Winning medals is great, competing is even better, but love for the sport is best.”

Phil Owens
Phil OwensCoaching qualification: Event Group Endurance Coach, Coach in Running Fitness. 

Phil started running middle distance and XC with Shettleston Harriers during his school years and developed a love for all things running that covers the full spectrum from sprints to ultra distance.

His initial coaching role with Ellon Athletics was like many, as a parent helper and then with Garioch Roadrunners, where the merging of social group running is blended with coaching geared towards fitness and performance development.

Phil co-coaches with Ruth Watson, with a key focus on endurance; motivated as a coach to assist others develop, progress and reach their running goals. Phil is also an active official.

Catriona Pennet
Catriona PennetCoaching qualification: Level 1 assistant coach.

Catriona assists Frank Gauld to deliver sprints and hurdles sessions.

She represented GB in the 2019 world masters indoors championships, winning a silver medal in the 60m hurdles and subsequently won the Aberdeen Sports Award for Masters Sports Achiever of the Year.

Malcolm Stone
Coaching qualification: Event Group Endurance
AAAC Development Level 3

Malcolm co-coaches a level 3 endurance training group at the club with Andrew Ferguson, consisting of older secondary school age athletes, students and senior age group athletes who compete at national and international level.  He is a keen hill runner.

Rachel Watson
Rachel Watson2 copy
Coaching qualification: Athletics Coach
AAAC Children’s Sessions

Rachel is one of the coaches leading the club 5:30 children’s athletics sessions. She also coaches Frame Running

Rachel has competed for the East of Scotland in cross country events and won a medal at the Scottish Schools Track and Field Championships in steeplechase.

Rachel was shortlisted for Scottish Athletics Club Coach of the Year in 2020 along with Ruth Watson.  In 2022, Rachel was named Community/Participation Coach of the Year at Aberdeen’s Sports Awards.

Ruth Watson
Ruth photoEvent Group Sprints & Hurdles, Level 2 Endurance
AAAC Development level 1

Ruth coaches athletes in short sprints, long sprints and endurance, young teenagers, new to the sport, wheelchair racing, and Frame Running sessions at the club.  She is also lead coach at the Inchgarth, Inverurie, and Westhill satellites.

Ruth has been involved in athletics since 2000, starting as a parent volunteer then coach at Haddington Running Club and Team East Lothian. She moved to AAAC in 2015. Ruth competed in 100m and shot put and has won several Scottish Masters Championships for her age group.

Ruth was shortlisted for Scottish Athletics Club Coach of the Year in 2020 along with Rachel Watson.