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UK Athletics

Highlights from London Marathon Young Athletes Camp

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The third London Marathon Young Athletes Camp came to close on Friday afternoon, 14 July, with a final speech from Vice Principal of St. Mary’s College, former athlete Dick Fisher, who presented the team awards to round off a successful five days.


On Wednesday evening, Mo Farah, who is based in Teddington spent over an hour talking to the athletes, answering questions from his progression from the junior ranks, what it is like to train with Craig Mottram and his experiences of living with the Kenyan athletes.


He said: “It is not easy moving from the juniors to competing as a senior, but you have to believe in yourself. I’ve been injured a few times and people will say that you won’t come back but you need to be strong.


“It is important to always communicate well with your coach, they need to understand how you feel during sessions. Over the last year, I have learned a lot from training with Craig Mottram, he has taught me how to plan my day properly, rest is really important and so is your diet. I am more positive now, my confidence has increased and I know training is going well.


“I didn’t have the chance to attend a camp like this when I was younger, it is a great opportunity to get good advice and meet other athletes, so make the most of it.”


The programme on Thursday included a question and answer session with Australians Craig Mottram and Benita Johnson, with their coach Nick Bideau and Jo Pavey The group of eighty athletes divided into groups, then completed a grass session on Ledbury playing fields.


Kate Avery a member of Shildon AC said:


“The training session we did around the park was one of the highlights for me. It was really different to what I normally do at home, as we usually train on the track in the summer. The session was a 300m, 200m and 100m effort, repeated in four sets with jog recovery.


“It has been great to listen to the international athletes, find out how they started their career and who has helped them reach the top. I heard about the camp a while ago and hoped to be invited. I knew other athletes that had been before and enjoyed it.


Bud Baldaro, National Event Coach for Marathon, one of the team of coaches at the camp said:


“It was a pleasure to work with a group of very motivated and enthusiastic athletes. They enjoyed a packed programme, particularly the insight into the lifestyles of international athletes with input from African, Australian and British endurance athletes.


“The experience will undoubtedly stand all the athletes in good stead for the future as they continue to develop their athletics careers and some will hopefully be back next year.


“Everyone has agreed that we owe a massive thanks to London Marathon for their generous support of the camp.”