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Grant supports steeplechase coach on world stage

19 September 2023

Another up-and-coming woman coach has gained international competition experience thanks to the AIS Experiential Learning Program (ELP).

Jody Erbacher (left) with some of her athletes including daughter Brielle (3rd from right).
Jody Erbacher (left) with some of her athletes including daughter Brielle (3rd from right).

As one of 11 emerging women coaches identified through the program, Jody Erbacher was able to travel to Budapest, Hungary for the 2023 Athletics World Championships with her four athletes, including her daughter Brielle.

Launched this year, the ELP initiative helps the next generation of elite women coaches gain vital experience at major sporting events by assisting National Sporting Organisations (NSOs) with travel costs.

Erbacher coaches distance events including the 3000m steeplechase and 5000m and says the grant and overseas experience was incredible.

“Being able to experience how everything operates behind the scenes before, during and after a major championship keeps you inspired and gives you that boost to keep improving on your skills and development to stay ahead of what your athletes will need in the future as they progress,” she said.

“Even something as simple as being able to watch all the different techniques in which athletes warm up, takes you out of your comfort zone and gets you to experiment with different ideas.”

Erbacher said that attending the championships showed her that even the most experienced coaches are still inventing and trying new things.

“Never be complacent, there is always something to learn,” said Erbacher, who hopes that this experience leads to her being selected on more teams in the future.

The championships were a major success for the Aussie team who took home their largest ever medal haul.

While Erbacher said she loved every second of the event she said her highlight was the amazing atmosphere and watching her daughter Brielle compete who finished 11th in her heat of the steeplechase.

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