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.