Seventy-four up and coming athletes are today recovering from a bumper weekend in Canberra, with the nation’s capital playing host to the 2012 Under 17 Development Squad camp.
Spanning four days, the camp was held at the plentiful facilities of the Australian Institute of Sport and also welcomed 28 personal coaches for training program development sessions with Athletics Australia’s National Youth Event Coaches.
“What a big weekend with a great group of athletes and their personal coaches,” Sara Mulkearns, Athletics Australia Junior High Performance Manager said.
“A fixture of our pathway since 2006, we’ve expanded the program this year to encourage 12-month planning for athletes that are on track to become future Australian Spark and I’m confident that we will continue to see improved results because of these changes for a long time to come.
Athletes at the camp were split into their event groups for training, with the programs undertaken setup to assist in the development of their specific discipline.
These programs were accompanied by a presentation on drugs in sport, nutrition and recovery techniques for international travel with Athletics Australia’s dieticians as well as programs around performance planning and aspiring to be your best.
The highlight of the camp for many athletes, however, was a presentation by Olympic nominees Lauren Boden and Regan Lamble, Paralympian Brad Scott, and IAAF world junior championships representatives Blake Steele, Rachel Tallent and Taylah Sengul.
Introducing athletes to the rigours of being a professional athlete, the group discussed their experiences in the sport, the importance of a strong relationship with your coach, experience both with Athletics Australia programs and when travelling with an Australian team as well as stepping up into senior athletics ranks beyond junior participation.
“The aim of the camp was to instil understanding around professionalism and preparation for competition on the world stage,” Mulkearns said.
“The sessions undertaken, as well as some great presentations by athletes that have done it all before, will go a long way to making this happen. I thank all involved very much for their assistance in delivering a great product.”
Launched in 2006, the Under 17 Development Squad is chosen through consultation with Athletics Australia’s National Youth Event Coaches, and this year again welcomed athletes with a disability to ensure Athletics Australia’s collaborative approach to athlete development with the Paralympic Preparation Program.
Additionally, the program in 2012 has expanded its selection criteria to ensure better interaction between athlete, coach and Athletics Australia. The development of long-term training programs for each athlete ahead of the program’s commencement will see National Youth Event Coaches engaging with personal coaches to assist in an athlete’s development from the outset.
Subscribe to our newsletters to keep up to date with Athletics in Australia.