More than 1,000 young athletes are set to receive education from UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) at this week’s 2018 School Games in Loughborough, in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust.
Competitors from 11 sports, aged between 14 and 18, will meet at the event which marks the pinnacle of school sport in the UK and is supported through National Lottery funding through Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust.
At this year’s event, UKAD will be running 36 education workshops with athletes, as well as being on-hand throughout the four days to speak to athletes, coaches, parents and physios, reaching those from sports including netball, hockey, indoor rowing and canoeing, and laser run (an introductory event to Modern Pentathlon).
The education workshops, which will run throughout the Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the School Games National Finals, will teach young athletes aspects of anti-doping such as strict liability, WADA’s Prohibited List and checking medications and supplements. It will also help athletes become familiar with what is involved in a drugs test, although UKAD will not be testing at the event.
Indoor rowing and canoeing is making its School Games debut this year, and British Rowing’s Director of Pathway Development, Rosie Mayglothling, said: “Early education on clean sport is about protecting the right to fair sport for all athletes. This is a vital part of the journey for our young rowers so they can learn to take ownership and responsibility for all aspects of their lives."
UKAD’s Head of Education, Amanda Hudson, said: “Our partnership with the Youth Sport Trust is important and the School Games National Finals provides a unique opportunity to reach some of our most talented school-aged athletes from across the UK, something that is a clear priority for UKAD as outlined in our new Strategic Plan.
“Early education of young athletes, their parents and those working with young athletes about the values of sport and anti-doping is a vital part of our prevention work.
“Our education programme at the School Games National Finals reinforces our support to the Youth Sport Trust in their endeavour to raise the quality of school sport, and in turn we are grateful for their support to us in protecting clean sport.”
Ali Oliver, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, added: “The School Games National Finals is about so much more than what happens in competition.
“For us here at the Youth Sport Trust, the Athlete Education Programme goes to the heart of what the School Games is all about. Through the programme, every athlete here is supported to achieve success in the right way and recognise the value of their own wellbeing in helping them to achieve the very best.
“This includes fantastic support and advice from UK Anti-Doping who will be helping young athletes understand anti-doping rules and their responsibilities. Getting this education at an early stage in their sporting lives will be hugely beneficial in helping them to make informed decisions throughout their careers.”