Over 50 young UK athletes attended a day of mentoring, education and specialised training, including a workshop delivered by UK Anti-Doping, with Dame Kelly Holmes as part of the former double Olympic champion’s new ‘Future Stars with Kelly’ initiative at Loughborough College earlier this month, supported by Aviva.
The aspiring U20 athletes earned the opportunity to attend the day following either their brilliant medal winning performance at last year’s Aviva Home Country Schools Championships or selection for IAAF World Youth Championships or European Youth Olympic Festival. They took part in practical training sessions, such as drills and circuit training run by Dame Kelly, as well as team building activities.
In addition, UK Anti-Doping set up a mock doping control centre which provided an insight into in-competition testing, as well as carrying out outreach at the event to educate and inform about the responsibilities of an elite athlete when it comes to anti-doping.
In a unique move, each athlete’s parents and coaches were also invited to attend specially tailored workshops, delivered by Next Generation Coaching and Dame Kelly herself.
Joe Marshall, Education Manager at UK Anti-Doping, said: “It is great to be invited along to be part of this event. It is vital that we reach athletes at this age so that they are given an idea of what to expect when it comes to anti-doping. Through 100% me, UK Anti-Doping’s education programme, we carry out a number of initiatives designed to ensure that athletes are fully aware of the role they play in protecting both themselves and their sport, and attending this event in Loughborough was a fantastic opportunity to address the next generation of potential British champions.”
Dame Kelly Holmes commented: “Through this Aviva mentoring and education day I hope to assist more talented young athletes during their journey through school, junior and senior athletics. The success of my previous mentoring programmes, such as ‘On Camp With Kelly’, also supported by Aviva, has shown the importance of providing education and mentoring to athletes through their teenage years when they are developing as athletes and also undergoing many changes away from the track. I hope this day will have provided them with additional skills and training tips to continue on the pathway to success. I wish all of the athletes taking part the best of luck at their Aviva Home Country Schools Championships and at other competitions this summer.”