Coach Aitken to take his cycling prowess to a whole new level

A learning trip of a lifetime to Switzerland to attend the prestigious UCI Coach Devlopment Program will put SASI Head Cycling Coach Brett Aitken in rare company when he returns to Adelaide

HE'S done it all in cycling as an Olympic gold medallist and for the past five years as SASI'S Head Cycling coach.

Now Brett Aitken is about to pack his bags and head to Aigle, Switzerland, for an intense 24 days at the world-recognised UCI Coach Development program - the only Australian selected to attend this course between July 9 and August 2.

Aitken, 48, and currently a Level 2 coach, will study for his Level 3 Diploma which will put him on par with the cream of the crop of cycling coaches in Australia. Level 3 is the highest qualification offered and is aimed at experienced coaches who will be working with national teams or with national level riders.

Backed by SASI's Coach Development Lead officer Ashley Ross, the course covers a wide range of topics including the up-to-date use of technology and training tips.

Aitken, a gold medallist at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, said he was looking forward to mixing with the best coaches from around the world.

"We thought the time was right for me to expand my knowledge and learn from others," Aitken said.

"I have had great support from SASI to do this and to get the accreditation which will be the highest you can have in this country will be great.

"It is going to be really intense - 25 days in a row is full on but to get that Level 3 is rare.

"After the course I will be staying on and probably helping at the junior world championships (August 14-18) some athletes from developing and non-traditional cycling countries who don't have the resources available. I will be able to catch up with our (Australian, SASI) athletes too.

"Everyone is trying to be the best they can. Innovation is big - to tap into the knowledge of other high-level coaches is special.

"The best thing is that this course is world recognised and at another level. Who knows what will happen after that.''

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