Norman studied Physics and Electronics and graduated in 1970. He was a member of Bowland College.
Unfortunately, my own athletics career finished when I was 23 due to ill health and, as a consequence, I am now in my 35th year of coaching. I have been a coach in several GB Olympic/World/European Championship teams and was the Endurance Coach to England Commonwealth Teams in Manchester and Melbourne. During my time with the GB and England Teams I have worked with many great athletes including Kelly Holmes, Steve Cram and Paula Radcliffe.
Over the years I have seen many changes for the better including high level medical support given to athletes and sports psychology. During the last three years my best athletes have been supported by top sports psychologist Dr Steve Peters, who is one of the key figures behind the success of the GB Cycling Team. It has been a fascinating experience to witness the psychological advantages he gives to their competition preparation.
I am pleased to say that I had one personal athlete in the GB athletics team and I was also invited to be part of the Team GB coaching set up for the Games. I spent almost two weeks with the athletics team in Portugal immediately prior to the event at the Games Preparation Camp and then a period of time in the stadium and warm up arenas during the competitions. Watching the athletes train and prepare in Portugal was highly informative and you could see who was in good form. Predicting who would perform in London was another matter. At this level it is not just about physical performance. The athletes had to handle the highly enthusiastic crowd, media effects and the self- imposed pressures associated with the occasion.
I was in the England team when the Commonwealth Games were in Manchester which was a great occasion, but London 2012 went to another level. The stadium and organisation were world-class and the performance of the athletes was breathtaking. The high point for me was David Rudisha winning the 800m in a world record. I cannot wait for Rio 2016!