Ten cyclists from across the nation have been selected to attend a national training camp for elite young athletes across a range of sports, at Loughborough University from 18 – 21st December.
Above: Young cyclists with mentor Craig Maclean at the 2010 Youth Sport Trust National Talent Camp.
All will join will join nearly 100 aspiring Olympians and Paralympians at the seventh National Talent Camp, run by leading school sports charity, the Youth Sport Trust.
The four day National Talent Camp offers England’s promising young 14-18 year old stars a unique insight in the world of performance sport and prepares them for the personal, academic and vocational challenges which lie ahead. This year, young people from nine different sports have been selected to attend, including canoeing, rowing, hockey, wheelchair basketball, volleyball, netball, girl’s rugby union & football and cycling.
Olympic gold medallist, Jason Gardener will lead the camp, nurturing the next generation of sporting champions, along with a host of experienced British athletes, who will be mentors for the duration of the camp. They include: Canoeing GB No1, Campbell Walsh, England football captain, Faye White, England, Rugby Union vice captain Maggie Alphonsi and GB Wheelchair basketball player, Gaz Choudry.
It will be no easy ride for the young stars, as the mentors will test both their mental and physical attitudes towards their sports, through a mix of tough training sessions and classroom based workshops, which challenge their way of thinking about what it takes to be the best in sport. The youngsters will not only learn about being an elite performer, but also the factors that contribute to being successful, including working with the media. They will stick to a strict schedule, which mirrors that of an elite athlete, including everything from early morning training sessions and drills to early nights and a no frills meat and vegetable diet.
Olympic gold medallist Jason Gardener believes the young people can use the National Talent Camp, as a huge development platform: “These youngsters have been given a great opportunity to learn from some of the UK’s most successful sports stars, so it’s something they should be grabbing onto with both hands. The fact that they have been chosen for this prestigious camp, already shows they are demonstrating real sporting promise, but being an elite athlete is not all about your talent; you need to be all rounded and realise that a lot of determination, hard work and sacrifice is needed to be top of your game. The camp really draws on these factors and helps these young athletes to understand the challenges they face being an elite performer, being the best and staying at the top level and the life commitment needed in order to succeed.”
Alison Oliver, Director of Sport at the Youth Sport Trust said: “The National Talent Camp helps deliver one of the Youth Sport Trust’s key priorities of supporting young people with a talent in sport. These young athletes have the chance to be involved in a high profile training event with a number of successful sports designed to make them question if they really are focused and determined enough to succeed in their sport.”
Adam Smith (17) from County Durham
William Cheaney (15) from Derbyshire
Quillan Isidore (15) from London
Daniel Pullen (16) from Kent
Michael Hawker (16) from Lancashire
Lucy Grant (15) from Scotland
Amelia Silvestre (17) from Somerset
Dylan Kerfoot-Robson (17) from Wales
Jack Stanley Ravenscroft (15) from West Midlands
Billy Harding (15) from West Yorkshire