ADVERTORIAL: From training and talks to special guests and a ‘mini Olympics’, the Performance Running summer athletics camp returns this August
The Performance Running summer athletics camp was set up not long after hearing Lord Coe and his team had won the bid to host the London 2012 Games and is now in its ninth year. In 2015 the camp will be held at the Thames Valley Athletics Centre on the grounds of the world-famous Eton College, near Windsor, from August 3-7.
The camp boasts some of the UK’s leading athletes and coaches including several former Olympians and Commonwealth medallists such as Laura Turner-Alleyne, Ashley Bryant, Mara Yamauchi, Adrian Patrick and many more.
It is open to anyone aged 8-18 years, but coaches and teachers are welcome too. There is a residential option, staying at the 4 star Windsor/Heathrow Marriott hotel which includes evening dinner and entertainment such as cinema, bowling, laser quest and a fantastic magic show. Price details and a brochure is available here.
During the day there will be two practical sessions Monday to Thursday from 10am-12pm and 3pm-5pm with lunch 12pm-1pm supplied by Subway. There will also be various talks each day between 1pm-3pm from our guest speakers on a range of topics such as sports injuries, nutrition, sports psychology and more. There will be a special guest star interview at the end of the week which this year will be with Olympic, world, Commonwealth and European medallist Jamie Baulch.
On the Friday to round off the week a mini Olympics competition is held in the morning where the young athletes can put into practice what they have learnt, followed by a guest star interview and awards ceremony, with a BBQ and fun activities to close the camp.
Sydney Olympic heptathlon champion Denise Lewis is the patron of the project after being a former guest and has supported it ever since. Other guests over the past few years have been Olympic gold medallists Linford Christie, Sally Gunnell and Dame Kelly Holmes and the camp has even had a visit from triple Olympic and world champion Usain Bolt.
“The Performance Running athletics camp is a great vehicle for nurturing young people in track and ﬁeld whether you are a total beginner or currently a member of an existing club. It oﬀers you the chance to learn and participate in various athletic disciplines – whether you like to run, jump or throw our expert coaches and guest speakers are ready to show you how! I wish you luck as you embark on your own personal journey to success. Have fun!” – Denise Lewis
The camp, which is in desperate need of a sponsor, attracts young athletes from all over the UK as well as abroad, with some this year travelling from as far away as Hong Kong, Dubai, Jordan, Denmark, Switzerland, France, Spain and Ireland.
Over the years the camp has had many athletes join their local clubs and some have gone on to represent Great Britain, including last year’s European and Commonwealth medallist Matthew Hudson-Smith and Shelayna Oskan-Clarke who clocked an impressive 2:00.90 for 800m recently.
The camp has been supported by Swedish sportswear company Craft, who supply a t-shirt for all attending as well as the coaches’ kit, but if they are to continue to help to inspire the next generation of athletes, organisers are keen to stress how they will require some financial help.
“We have a dream team of elite coaches, guest speakers and star athletes as well as fantastic facilities and great kids from all over the UK and abroad, many of whom have been back on the camp year-on-year,” said Performance Running founder Rodger Hughes. “So if you want to know what it’s like to be Jess Ennis-Hill, Greg Rutherford or Mo Farah for a week come along. It’s a tough week, but great fun and friendships will be made for life I’m sure.”