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UK Athletics

Revitalising Race Walking

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The UK Athletics Race Walking Research Squad Camp gave London 2012 Olympic hopefuls four productive and enjoyable days at Leeds Met Carnegie.


Athletes underwent a battery of sport science and sport medicine assessment with a mix of UKA and Leeds Met expert practitioners. The support from Leeds Met organised by Malcolm Brown and Ian Richards allowed UK Event Coach for Race Walking Andi Drake to provide a level of service not previously possible to the squad but essential to move the event forward and empower young athletes to fulfil their potential, which for some means being medal shots in 2012.


The final day of the camp incorporated the UK Athletics Event Conference for Race Walking, which alongside Malcolm Brown and Drake, featured Andy Paul, UKA Head of Athlete Development, discussing the 5 Rings principles and Ian McCombie, the British record holder for the 20km walk, talking about the preparation for his performance at the 1988 Olympics.


In addition to supporting the current best prospects, the Camp included the first of a nationwide series of talent identification days, resulting in two athletes being invited to receive coaching support with a view to fast-tracking them into the GB Squad.


The next Talent Transfer Day will be in Coventry in December for athletes in the West Midlands region.


Drake said: “Race walking is one of Great Britain's most successful Olympic athletics events, although few people probably realise this as our last Olympic medallists were in 1964. The 2012 Olympic Games come to London and race walking is in a process of revitalisation.”