Sir Chris Hoy won the gold medal for Team GB in the keirin, the final track cycling event at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Hoy's second gold of this Olympics, and the sixth of his career, was the seventh gold won by Team GB in the ten track cycling events held at the London Olympiad. British Cycling structures its coaching awards to allow coaches to take event specific coaching qualifications.
The coaching structure that has helped Team GB win nine medals at the London Games includes all those responsible for teaching cycling from childhood up to those who coach elite athletes. British cycling begins its coaching structure with an entry level award aimed at teachers and volunteers who are responsible for teaching safe riding techniques to schoolchildren. The Cycling for Schools certificate is open to all adults over the age of eighteen who work or volunteer within a school system. A Level 1 award is the first coaching qualification taken by most coaches in Britain. The Level 1 course is a two day coaching course, delivered by experienced coaching professionals.
Coaches in the British program are permitted to enter the coaching program at Level 2, with the possibility of bypassing Level 1 completely. Completion of this course allows a coach to plan, deliver, and evaluate coaching sessions across the six disciplines coached in British cycling. Separate awards can also be achieved in each of the six disciplines of BMX, Road Race & Time Trial, Track Cycling, Cycle Speedway, and Mountain Biking. Once a coach has achieved the general Level 2 coaching award they can specialize in a particular field.
The Level 3 coaching award is available to all coaches in good standing who have already achieved Level 2 qualification. The Level 3 qualification allows a coach to specialize in Road & Time Trail, Track, and Mountain Bike coaching. The highest available level, a Level 3 coach is able to plan and deliver an individual rider's training regime specific to their needs. They are also given the knowledge of how to assess individual performances and plan for the attainment of the future goals of an individual rider.
In contrast to the success of Team GB, the U.S. track cycling team won two silver medals at London 2012. The structure of the U.S. coaching system differs significantly to that of Great Britain. In the U.S., three coaching awards are available, beginning at Level 3 and ending at Level 1. USA Cycling offers the Level 1 coaching certificate as an online exam, available to any coach who has purchased the learning materials. Coaches entering the Level 2 program are required to pass Level 1; Level 3 is only offered to those passing the Level 3 program, and reaching years of coaching experience. Unlike the British system the U.S. coaching program does not allow for specialized coaching in a specific discipline.
Paul Cartmell has been riding in a variety of bicycle disciplines, including road racing, mountain bikes and BMX as an amateur for over twenty years.