Paralympic star Cockroft attends Youth Sport Trust talent camp in Loughborough
Monday, 07 January 2013
January 7 - Britain's double London 2012 wheelchair racing champion Hannah Cockroft was in attendance at the Youth Sport Trust's sixth National Talent Camp at Loughborough University where more than 90 youngsters from across the country were in attendance.
The four-day camp was designed to put England's most talented youngsters aged between 13-18 through their paces to help them learn what it takes to become Olympic and Paralympic champions.
Cockroft, who won the 100 and 200 metres T34 at the Paralympic Games, spoke to the youngsters about her training as the 20-year-old from Halifax admitted that the Youth Sport Trust had helped her to succeed at the very highest level.
"The Youth Sport Trust is really vital at getting young people into sport," Cockroft told insidethegames.
"I actually competed at the School Games that the Youth Sport Trust runs when I was younger and it was set up like a mini-Paralympics.
"It was actually very similar to the Paralympics and that gave me an advantage at London 2012 because I felt like I had done it before.
"Hopefully more young people can follow me with the help of the Youth Sport Trust and go on to compete at the Olympics or Paralympics in the future."
Seven sports were represented at the 2013 camp with athletes selected to attend from rugby union, cycling, canoeing, volleyball, netball, hockey, wheelchair basketball and a number of athletes across different sports selected by the British Paralympic Association (BPA).
Alongside the camp, the Youth Sport Trust also ran a coaching academy offering 200 young promising sports coaches of the future the opportunity to develop and improve their personal coaching style and skills.
The National Young Coaches Academy, which is funded by Sport England, featured sports coaches across ten sports including athletics, badminton, basketball, boccia, football, hockey, rugby union, swimming, table tennis and volleyball.
The young coaches joined the athletes on the talent camp for a joint opening and closing address, which provided an opportunity for them to share learning with young talented sports stars that they may well go on to support and coach in the future.
"The National Talent Camp is all about supporting talented young athletes and challenging their way of thinking about what it takes to be the best in sport; it will test their commitment to succeed," said Youth Sport Trust director of sport Alison Oliver.
"We know that behind every successful athlete is a coach and future sports stars need good coaches.
"Our aim for the young coaches attending the National Young Coaches Academy is that they gain a real understanding of the importance of relationship building and develop their coaching skills, so they can go on to inspire athletes to achieve in their sport."