Stephen Perks

Stephen PerksCoaching Experience:

Athletics is a truly objective, global sport. Times and distances achieved are plotted on ranking lists for Wales, a country with 3 million people right up to World Top Ten lists for 6.7 BILLION people. Using this information along with the Championship results from Wales right through to the Olympic Games and World Championships gives us a clear picture of how successful an athlete has been. Many people would agree that to win an Olympic gold medal is the highest achievement that an athlete can strive for.

At the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004 the Great Britain and Northern Ireland 4x100m Men’s Relay Team of Jason Gardner, Darren Campbell, Marlon Devonish and Mark Lewis-Francis wrote their names in the history book of Olympic Champions. Welshman Christian Malcolm was part of the relay squad. In the Olympic stadium on the night of the relay final following much pre-games’ preparation, the squad triumphed with a superb team effort that combined raw speed, slick baton changes, belief in each other and sheer determination to hold off a hugely talented U.S.A. team in the most exciting of finishes to win Olympic gold.

It was a huge achievement for both athletes and coach. The G.B. sprint relay coach who guided the team to Olympic glory was Welshman, Steve Perks who using all his experience as an ex-athlete, Headteacher and talented coach chose these words on that day to focus and inspire the team: “SEIZE THE DAY”.

Written by Gwyn Williams

Originally from Llanelli, but resident in Carmarthen since 1983 Steve Perks became Welsh National Event Coach for Sprints and Relays in 1990 and was Head Coach (Athletics) at the Commonwealth Games Victoria Canada 1994. These games became the International springboard for numerous Welsh Athletes who progressed to medal at all other International Games.

In 1993 Steve was invited to be the Sprints and Relays Coach for the Great Britain Junior team.  During this period the Junior Team mainly the Junior Men but also Junior Women achieved gold medals at both European and World Level.  Many within these squads became the basis for future senior squads. 

After a period of four years Steve was then given the opportunity to be in charge of Sprints and Relays at Senior Level.  During the period 1997 – 2004 the team experienced a great deal of success at European, World and Olympic Level.  In 1998 the British relay squad became the first team to win the European title in Budapest a feat they repeated in Munich (1999 & 2003) four years later. 

At the World Championships they achieved two Silver medals establishing a new British and European Record at Seville 1999.  At Olympic level it was a case of experiencing both the highs and lows of sport.  Going into Sydney 2000 expectations were high due to the success in Seville 1999 but further success was not to be, with the team unable to progress beyond the first round.  However this experience was put to good use in the intervening four years culminating in a Gold medal at Athens 2004. 

Due to work commitments as a Headteacher Steve decided to relinquish his role as Great Britain relay coach & returned to grass root coaching with Carmarthen Harriers.

In November 2010 Steve was appointed to the Board of Directors of Welsh Athletics Ltd.

Career Highlights

European Junior Championships, San Sebastian, 1993
4 x 100 Junior Men 1st 
4 x 100 Junior Women 1st

European Junior Championships, Nyiregyhaza, 1995
4 x 100 Junior Men 1st

World Junior Championships, Lisbon, 1994
4 x 100 Junior Men 1st

European under 23 Championships, Turku, 1997
4 x 100 Junior Men 1st

European Championships Budapest, 1998
4 x 100  1st

European Championships Munich 2002    
4 x 100  1st

World Championships, Seville, 1999
4 x 100  2nd (new GB & European Record)

World Championships, Paris, 2003    
4 x 100  2nd

Olympic Games, Athens, 2004
4 x 100  1st

Participation at following Championships

Olympic Games, 2000 & 2004

World Championships, 1999 & 2003

European Championships, 1998 & 2002

European Cup, 1995, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004

Head Coach (Athletics) Commonwealth Games Victoria, 1994

European Under 23 Championships, 1997

European Junior Championships, 1995

World Junior Championships, 1996

Notable Athletes

Jamie Henthorne

Commonwealth Games, Manchester and Kuala Lumpur
European Indoor Championships 60m
European Under 23 International & Medallist
Silver European Junior Championships 1995 & 4 x 100m

Peter Maitland

European Junior International 100m & Relay
Commonwealth Games, Victoria

Bruce Tasker

Under 23 International 400m


UKA Level 4 Performance Coach (Sprints 100m & 200m)


University of Wales, Aberystwyth
St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge

Welsh Athletics Ltd.
Cardiff International Sports Stadium
Leckwith Road
Cardiff. CF11 8AZ.

  • WAG
  • SCW
  • UKA