Dame Kelly inspires Kent talent
Some of Kent's finest young athletes were inspired yesterday after meeting Dame Kelly Holmes and a host of world-class athletes at the DKH Legacy Trust's Backing Talent in Kent, a programme sponsored by P&O ferries.
Yesterday saw over 60 young talented performers from all over Kent came together, some for the first time, for a unique mentoring and education programme, delivered by Kelly Holmes Education and supported by Kent County Council.
Returning for her second year on the programme was world medallist Kelsie Gibson, from Maidstone. Kelsie, a year on from her first Backing Talent, was a great example to the young people of how the programme can really develop and enhance a young person's sporting career.
Also in attendance for the second time was the Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson. Hugh, like Dame Kelly, is local to Kent and his attendance really hit home with the young performers on the fantastic opportunity they had on the day.
It was not only the young people who were presented with this opportunity. Parents, carers and coaches were also at the University of Kent's Canterbury campus, where they were given the opportunity to gain a better understanding of what is required of a young person to reach the highest levels in their sport.
The Backing Talent programme gives sports stars of the future the chance to find out what it takes to succeed in elite sport. The programme, which launched in Kent last year, saw the talented performers take part in challenging activities which focused on performance analysis, team-building, nutrition, effective training techniques, communication skills, and working with the media.
Dame Kelly Holmes, Chair of the DKH Legacy Trust said: "There is a wealth of sporting talent in my home county. It means a lot to me that my charity, through the support of P&O Ferries, Kent County Council and other local partners is able provide this extra help and inspiration to our next generation of sports stars. I hope that with this support, in the future, there will be many other Olympic and Paralympic Champions who bring their gold medals back to Kent like I did!
"Backing Talent was a fantastic opportunity for these young sports performers to learn from a host of world-class athletes. I'm delighted that everyone, including parents, carers and coaches, all gained something from the day that'll really help develop their careers."
One young talented performer said: "Being part of the DKH Legacy Trust Backing Talent programme means I now understand how so many aspects of my life influence my sporting development.
"Having Tyrone Swaray as a team leader was really beneficial; to have the advice and support from an international athlete was really inspiring and I hope I can now make it that next level in my sport of freeskiing."
Elite sports performers who attended
- Sarah Winckless- Rowing: An Olympic bronze medallist in Athens and member of the gold medal winning women's quad at the World Championships in 2005 and 2006
- Tyrone Swaray- Athletics: The London 2012 hopeful gained a GB International vest in 1999 and in 2000 and was sponsored by Time Sport to train in Los Angeles, USA alongside former World Champion Maurice Greene
- Mel Clewlow- Hockey: a two-time Olympian, Mel has 179 England caps to her name along with 65 GB appearances
- Tim Dudgeon- Skiing: A former member of GB's freestyle team, Tim competed at the Winter Games in Nagano in 1998
- Alastair McKean- Rowing and Triathlon: A Paralympic bronze medallist in 2008 as well as winning gold in the 2005 and 2006 World Championships, Alastair has since turned his hand to Para-triathlons
- Paula Reinoso- Sailing: A three-time Olympian, Paula represented Argentina in Atlanta, Sydney and Athens
- Darren Cheesman- Hockey: A member of the GB side currently playing forEast Grinstead, Darrenhasonly recent joined the Trust team
- Hannah Beharry- Boxing: Despite injury preventing her participation at London 2012, Hannah is a two-time England champion as well as a bronze medallist in the European Union Championships
- Scott Moorhouse - Javelin: A silver medallist at the U23 World Championships in New Zealand, Scott has now set his sights firmly on London 2012