18th April 2019

Athletes and Coaches engage in Paralympic Futures Academy weekend

Several athletes and coaches attended the British Athletics Paralympic Futures Academy squad camp in Loughborough last weekend with those on the programme taking part in a series of workshops to aid their development in the Paralympic pathway.

The British Athletics Paralympic Futures Academy was established to support 24 athletes and their coaches graduating from the Paralympic Development Academy and prepare them for potential selection into the World Class Podium and Podium Potential programmes, and ultimately representation in British teams at major championships.

The programme runs annually from 1st December to 1st November every year and athletes are invited into the Futures Academy for two years. On occasion, athletes will be offered a third year based on their development needs and progression.

The Paralympic Futures Academy is split into five event disciplines; endurance, jumps, sprints, throws and wheelchair racing. Event specific coaches offer athlete-coach pairings support with their individual plans.

The weekend saw athletes attend workshops on selection policy overviews, psychology, nutrition and performance lifestyle – transitions after sport. Combined with one-to-ones on offer with physios, strength and conditioning leads, nutritionists and psychologists, there was the opportunity to access practitioners across several areas over the two-day event.

Coaches also took part in a series of workshops including a personal development plan session, and one-to-one opportunities with physios and S&C leads.

All attendees listened to a talk from Grand Slam champion Sophie Hahn, European silver medallist Zak Skinner, the coach of Richard Whitehead, Keith Antoine, and coach to two world champions in recent years – Stef Reid and Olivia Breen – Aston Moore, during day one. The trio provided an incredibly valuable insight into their journey in the sport so far, how to prepare for a major championship or Games, and the commitment required to progress up the pathway, from an athlete and coach perspective.

Paralympic Pathways Manager Sarah Benson commented:

“It was great to have all our Futures Academy Year 1 and Year 2 & 3 athletes with us last weekend. It led to some really interesting conversations among athletes as well as the coaches and provided plenty of learnings as they progress through the pathway. I like to say thank you to all those attendees who contributed to these workshops to make them as useful as possible, as well as the practitioners who hosted the engaging sessions.”