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UK Athletics

World Class Talent weekend report

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Steve Backley
This weekend saw the inaugural World Class Talent induction course for those young athletes who were announced as part of the World Class Pathway last week.


The course, which took place at Loughborough University on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 October, provided a series of workshops for not only athletes but also coaches and parents to attend


The aim of the weekend was to enable all those with a vested interest to get an overview of the philosophy behind the World Class Pathway and an understanding of the practicalities of being supported on the World Class Talent level of the programme.


The opening speech by Dave Collins was a stark reminder of the challenge that lay ahead for those sat in the room, but set the tone for the remainder of the workshops by underlining the complete picture which needs to be addressed in order to make it to the very top – the five rings model being a definitive example of the areas an elite athlete needs to consider at every stage in their career.


Workshops from the weekend included Strength and Conditioning run by John Kiely and  Fundamental Movement Skills run by Steve Backley which in addition to media training and the BOA Planning for Success workshops designed specifically for the athletes already started to provide the foundations in a number of the ‘five rings’.


Additionally, UK Athletics ambassadors and team mentors Katharine Merry, Olympic Bronze medallist and Daley Thompson, double Olympic Champion, were in attendance to offer their unique insights to the young athletes parents and coaches.

Vikki McPherson, UK Athletics’ Performance Partnerships Manager, reflected on the weekend’s events as a fantastic start for those athletes taking their first steps on the pathway:


“It was an invaluable opportunity to get together so many of the athletes, coaches and parents for what, for many, was their first induction onto the World Class Pathway. I hope that the mix of theory and practical sessions left everyone with a real sense of purpose to look at the five rings, examine their whole support structure and consider the areas they now need to address, in conjunction with the Talent Development Managers, on the journey to the Podium ahead.


"We also welcomed the opportunity to get feedback on our proposals and the questions asked have now given us food for thought as to how we progress from here.”


See next weeks Athletics Weekly magazine for more coverage of the World Class Talent Induction weekend.