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talent 2016 throws initiative

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Sophie Hitchon
Sophie Hitchon - World Junior Championships hammer gold medallist

18 November 2010

UKA and the UK Talent Team (a collaboration between UK Sport and the English Institute of Sport) are offering an opportunity to explore what it takes to win an Olympic medal as the 'Talent 2016: Future Throws Star Initiative' gears up for its first phase of assessments on 4th and 5th December in Loughborough.

The initiative, backed by former Olympic Heptathlon Champion Denise Lewis, aims to find athletes capable of reaching a world class level in throws disciplines by the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Athletes invited to the assessments at UKA’s National Performance Centre will undergo a series of physical and physiological assessments in a competitive environment, whilst being analysed on their ability to develop specific movements patterns suited to throws events.

Lewis, who won Olympic Gold at Sydney in 2000, said: "A once in a lifetime opportunity is presented here through UKA and the UK Talent Team.

"If you have the right raw material and are prepared to put in the hard yards, they could undoubtedly provide you with a life changing opportunity, and ultimately reach the Olympic medal rostrum at Rio.”

"From my experience, the Olympic journey is undoubtedly a challenge and one that very few individuals are ever bold enough to embark upon. As a consequence, the assessments will be challenging, but the opportunity to investigate how good you could really be is just too precious to miss."

UKA’s National Event Lead: Heavy Throws, Shaun Pickering added: "What a great opportunity to look for new talent in the Heavy Throws events. We’ve seen a lot of great potential throwers lost to sports such as rugby and netball over recent years, and this Talent ID programme, working together with UK Sport to identify Future Throws Stars from among their 'Pitch to Podium' or 'Tall and Talented' schemes, will try to bring some of that talent back to athletics. We hope to find some potential future Olympic stars, but also, if we find some athletes that we can direct to clubs and coaches around the country so they can enjoy club athletics, then that will be a great result too."

The UK Talent Team has considered findings from previous talent initiatives such as Sporting Giants, Girls4Gold, Pitch2Podium and Tall and Talented to set the following criteria:

  • Women: Under 22 years old, taller than 180cm and weigh more than 70kg

  • Men: Under 21 years old, taller than 186cm and weigh more than 96kg

"Of the 3,000 individuals that the UK Talent Team have assessed in the past three years we have only invited around 10% to Phase One,” explains Ian Yates, Talent ID Scientist at the UK Talent Team.

"However we are conscious that personal contact details are subject to change, so if you have previously been assessed and meet the above criteria but haven’t heard from us, please get in touch by emailing talent2016@uksport.gov.uk."

UKA and the UK Talent Team would welcome applications from anyone who meets the criteria and believes they have what it takes to be a Future Throws Star.

Application can be submitted online at http://www.uksport.gov.uk/forms/talent_2016/ - these must be submitted no later than Wednesday 24th November 2010.

Those who successfully meet the criteria will be contacted directly by the UK Talent Team, and sent invitations to attend the assessment.