Hello, and welcome to Agility1st.
We are really looking forward to working with you and helping you to achieve your goals as an Agility Instructor and coach. At Agility1st we set out to excel at everything we do and our aim is to create an environment in which we will produce some of the very best Agility Instructors and Coaches.
Agility1st’s key aims are:
1). To implement nationally recognised sports coaching accreditation programmes
2). To promote high quality agility instruction using reward based methods to instructors who wish to deliver professional and safe dog agility training to all levels of students.
Agility1st Assessor - Josie Sasse
I strongly believe that the art of teaching agility extends well beyond personal expertise. It encompasses the exhilarating endeavour of engaging others, fuelling their passion for acquiring skills, and accompanying them on an awe-inspiring journey alongside their beloved dogs.
The Founders of Agility1st - Steve Croxford and Mark Laker
Now a professional agility dog trainer and handler coach, Steve spent most of his business career working for a major UK bank, where he gained experience in people management, business operations, product management, marketing and managing large projects across the group. He is married to Yvonne and they now live in the Midlands of England with their eight Border Collies.
Steve has been a regular competitor in agility for over 25 years and has been a full time professional agility trainer since leaving banking in 2003 Steve has gained a reputation for his work in developing canine movement skills and also as a coach working with some of the country’s leading handlers. He regularly presents his work at seminars both in the UK and in other countries and is an international agility judge.
Steve managed and coached the Kennel Club’s international agility team for 10 years up to 2011. His leadership of Agility Team GB. was incredibly successful with the team medalling nearly every year at the FCI Agility World Championship since he took over the team in 2001. A successful handler in his own right Steve is still competing in the UK with two of his Border Collies.
His other interests outside of agility are watching and analysing almost any sports, understanding sport science and how it can be applied to his own agility training/ he also spends time following his favourite football team.
Mark’s agility history goes back over 30 years. Highlights of his agility career include; making his dog Kodi (Bekkis Carbon Copy) up to Agility Champion, runners up at Olympia, winning the Crufts Championship class in 2010 and representing Team GB at the European Open.
Mark was the Kennel Club’s Agility Team GB Manager from 2013 – 2020 where he used his experience in sports psychology and business skills to enable high performance to deliver medals at the European Open for Juniors, The European Open and FCI Agility World Championships.
Mark has built a reputation for effectively transferring these techniques and skills to dog agility and coaches handlers to help them to develop their skills.
In his professional life Mark works for an Energy Company managing a wide portfolio of business and people related projects. Business & Personal development are of particular interest to Mark, subjects that he carries through into his sporting interests. Mark has used this knowledge, enthusiasm and experience to develop with Steve Agility1st’s high quality training and coaching programmes. Mark lives Nottinghamshire with his wife Karen their four Border Collies and a Jack Russell X.
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