Thursday, 28 June 2012
Young athletes competing at national level are being invited to get special support from the University of Worcester.
Applications are now open for the University’s Athlete Support Programme, which has been supporting promising young athletes across a range of disciplines since 2010.
The programme provides sports science support for two to three promising young local athletes per year who are based within the West Midlands, Herefordshire or Worcestershire or attending a course at the University of Worcester. In order to apply, athletes must be aged 16-24 and be competing at national level or be close to national selection.
Jess Stone, from Church Stretton in Shropshire, was one of those who received support from the programme.
Jess, who has just completed a BSc Hons in Sport and Exercise Science at the University, is an elite level Downhill Mountain Bike champion.
“The Sports Science support that I received through the Athlete Support Programme created a fantastic opportunity for me as an athlete, to develop and achieve great success within my sport,” she said.
“I started Downhill Mountain Biking two years prior to beginning university after competing at a high level (standby for England U19’s and U23’s at 16) in football as a goalkeeper.
“Since starting Downhill Mountain Biking, I became the Junior National Champion in 2008, and continued to win my first international series title, the Maxxis Cup International Series, in my opening year as a senior (Elite) in 2009.
“I began to compete internationally in the World Cup Series in 2009, having the opportunity to travel the world. I began my time at the University of Worcester at the end of this season and the support that I received throughout my time at University enabled me to achieve my first major title and become the UK’s National Champion in 2010 and improve on my World Cup results.
“I had opportunities through the University to gain support from both the Physiological and Psychological resources which allowed me to unlock my potential as a racer. Furthermore, the new bike fitting service in the Motion Performance Centre at the University gave me the opportunity to adjust settings for my training bikes to allow for optimum gains during training and reduce injury.
“Since 2010, I have brought five Gold medals and one Silver back to the University in my contests in BUCS Student Boxing Championships and BUCS Student Downhill Mountain Biking Championships. I also finished consistently in the top 12 internationally during the World Cup Series.
“The knowledge and support that the University of Worcester gave me has set me up in a great position to fully focus on my racing and get into the top ranks of the sport.”