The Legendary
Lloyd Cowan MBE

As an athlete, Lloyd Cowan was one of the nation’s top sprint hurdlers. Aged 22, he was selected to compete at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games but had to pull out due to injury. Ten years later, whilst working full-time at Southwark Council, he was thrilled to receive the call to represent England at the Commonwealth Games in Victoria in the 110m hurdles. 

At 39, Lloyd finally put away his sprint spikes and moved into coaching. And it was as a coach that he reached dizzying heights. He guided Christine Ohuruogu, Britain’s most successful female track and field athlete, to 400m Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008, Olympic silver on home soil in London 2012, and two World titles and a Commonwealth gold as part of her 20 international championships medal haul. Lloyd also coached Andy Turner to Commonwealth and European 110m hurdles titles and a World bronze.

Lloyd’s successful squad of athletes included many national and age group champions and international relay medallists. However, the accomplishments of his son, Dwayne, made him most proud. In 2017 Dwayne established himself as a top 400m runner. He won the individual event at the European Team Championships. Then at the World Championships in London that same year and the European Championships in 2018, he helped Britain capture bronze medals in the 4x400m relay.

In 2016 Lloyd set up Calco Athletics with his friend, coach and ex-international athlete, Clarence Callander. Their goal was to nurture the next generation of athletics talent. This dream was already being achieved at domestic and international age group and junior level.

Lloyd’s style of coaching was deeply intuitive. Whether or not he coached them, his passion for excellence and commitment to athletes was legendary. He was known for his larger-than-life personality and for having the biggest heart. 

Lloyd Cowan died unexpectedly in 2021 after contracting COVID-19. The global outpouring of grief when news spread of his death was a testament to his impact on athletics. He was one of the most popular and successful coaches. Lloyd’s outstanding athletics legacy was built on wanting all athletes to achieve their potential and inspiring them to believe they could. 

Lloyd Anthony Cowan MBE, 8th July 1962 – 11th January 2021

Christine Ohuruogu MBE

Team GB & NI Olympian - Olympic Champion, double World Champion, Commonwealth Games Champion, and British Record Holder in the 400m.

Lloyd had a deep love for athletics, and athletics loved him back. He was well-known and well-liked globally throughout the athletics community. With a humble and giving spirit, he freely shared his resources, time and knowledge to help others on their journey through the sport. Lloyd loved coaching and did it naturally and skilfully, often with a smile and a joke. Being around Lloyd was uplifting and rewarding.

It is an absolute joy to call Lloyd Cowan my coach, and we enjoyed a wonderful partnership as athlete and coach. He was a great teacher; his lessons have seamlessly travelled with me out of the world of sport into my everyday life.

Very few moments pass without something reminding me of him. Although it saddens me that we never got the chance to fully celebrate the huge expanse of our great work together, I am overwhelmingly proud that we had the opportunity to build those successes.

The Lloyd Cowan Bursary is a fitting tribute to Lloyd. The Bursary embodies Lloyd’s spirit of giving and his desire to support others with whatever he could, wherever he could, in the hope that athletes and coaches could realise opportunities to better themselves and achieve their dreams.

Andy Turner

Team GB & NI Olympian, World Bronze Medallist, European Champion, and Commonwealth Champion in the 110m Hurdles.

I started training with Lloyd in 2001 and remained with him until I retired in 2013. Lloyd was more than a coach. He was there for me as a person whenever I needed him. He helped me through difficult parts of my life and supported me both on and off the track. 

If you knew Lloyd, you know how unique and likeable he was. Every time we went to a new country, everybody knew him and wanted to talk to him. He was, without a doubt, the most known coach I’ve had the privilege to spend time with. 

Since Lloyd’s tragic passing, there is a huge hole in my heart and that of other athletes. People still talk of Lloyd and tell their stories of experiences with him. Everybody always ends up laughing and has a great story to tell.

There will never be another Lloyd Cowan, he was like a second dad to me, and the world and athletics will never be the same without him. He is missed but never forgotten. 

Dina Asher-Smith

Team GB & NI Olympian, World Champion in the 200m, Olympic relay medallist, and British record holder in the 100m and 200m.

The Athletics community was lucky to have Lloyd. He was honestly a great person. I don’t think there are enough superlatives to describe him. I was so fortunate to have known him. When I was younger, my mum used to leave Lloyd ‘in loco parentis’ when I went away on senior trips; on the odd occasion, my personal coach wasn’t there – a testament to how much so many trusted and valued him!

Lloyd’s wealth of knowledge and experience will be sorely missed. Famously, he contributed multiple times to Olympic and World Championships’ success. But one of the reasons he was held in such high regard by the Track community was his ability to spot and nurture upcoming athletes. He always knew just the right words to say to a wide-eyed budding talent before they raced and always tried his very best to make sure they realised their potential – whether he was directly coaching them or not, Lloyd genuinely cared. The Lloyd Cowan Bursary is a perfect way to continue his legacy.

Young people need support to be able to pursue their dreams and realise their potential. We all love to see the success stories at a senior level on the international stage, but the journey starts far younger, and it’s these kinds of schemes that enable young athletes to thrive. Lloyd gave his support through his time, words and wisdom.

This Bursary is a fantastic way to honour his work and ensure that young athletes will continue to be supported in his absence.