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Isle of Man Sports Aid Academy prepares to launch year two

Friday, 7 October 2016

The second year of the Isle of Man Sport Aid Academy will launch on 14 October, with the first workshop of the new session.

The Isle Of Man Sport Aid Academy

After a hugely successful first year the Academy, again sponsored by SMP Partners and Newfield in partnership with Isle of Man Sport, will host another four workshops to help the Island’s budding sports stars shine on the world stage.

Many athletes who attended year one will return to continue their training, joined by a new intake of over 30. The new recruits have prepared for the first workshop by attending four ‘boot camp’ sessions in September to cover the topics which formed the first year of the Academy.

The Isle of Man Sport Aid Academy was launched in 2015 as a platform to help athletes aged 13 to 17 who are in the tier below those currently supported by Isle of Man Sport Aid. Through a structured programme of workshops and ongoing homework developed by Isle of Man Sport and Athlete Development Adviser Paul Jones, the Academy seeks to equip participants with the support and knowledge they need to work towards becoming the elite athletes of the future.

Importantly, the Academy includes parents, guardians and coaches in the workshops as they play vital roles in the success of all participants, who will receive advice to not only develop their sports skills but also learn valuable life lessons.

Over the first year more than 60 young sportspeople attended workshops on ‘commitment to excellence’, ‘resilience, determination and persistence’, ‘discipline and self-regulation’ and ‘respect’.

More than 70 promising athletes are due to attend year two of the Academy, which will begin with a workshop on ‘physical preparation’. Three further workshops during the year will look at ‘rest and regeneration’, ‘diet and nutrition’ and ‘sports psychology’.

The first workshop will be addressed by Nick Grantham, an expert in athlete preparation who over almost two decades has worked with British Gymnastics, England Netball, the Rugby Football Union, several Premiership football teams and even the Birmingham Royal Ballet. Nick has also worked with athletes at four Olympic Games and is a Performance Consultant for Nike.

The evening workshop will also be attended by three members of the Isle of Man Sport Institute Support Team; physiotherapists Ruth Cooil and Wendy Shallcross and Sports Psychology Consultant Sian Griffith.

Isle of Man Sport Aid Sports Performance Co-ordinator Chris Quine said:

‘We are all very excited about moving into the second year of the Sports Aid Academy and continuing to offer advice and support to so many young people.

‘Year one was very well received by the athletes, as well as coaches and parents, and the eagerness to engage and learn was clear. Thanks to the continued support of our sponsors SMP Partners and Newfield we are able to continue this programme to ensure ongoing development of returning participants as well as bringing in many more youngsters who are involved in a wide variety of sports.’

He added:

‘The first workshop of the year will focus on physical preparation and we’re delighted to have someone of Nick’s experience and expertise visiting the Island to share his knowledge with the Academy. His insights will help the athletes understand more about getting ready to perform and while the central message relates to sport, the philosophy of preparation being the foundation of success can be equally applied to many other areas of life, from school to workplaces.’

Leading independent trust and corporate services provider SMP Partners and Newfield, an Isle of Man-based company within the eGaming sector with a focus on international sporting events, are both committed supporters of the Manx community.

Mark Denton, Managing Director at SMP Partners, said:

‘We were extremely pleased with the response to the first year of the Sports Aid Academy, especially by the dedication and commitment shown by the young athletes. It was clear to see at each workshop I attended that they were determined to take advantage of this opportunity to learn from the experts and improve their own performance.

‘We had no hesitation in continuing our sponsorship of a programme which has been welcomed with such eagerness, especially with so many more young people able to benefit in the second year.’

He added:

‘While the Academy covers a broad range of topics they have one common theme, pursuit of excellence, which reflects SMP Partners’ own ethos. In addition, while the lessons participants learn will aid them in their sport they will also equip them for whatever path their future holds, so this is an investment in the Island’s future. We wish everyone involved in the Academy continued success for year two and I’m looking forward to seeing the workshops in action again.’

Newfield Director Mark Reynolds added:

‘There is no question that the Sport Aid Academy has made a huge impact; when you visit a workshop there is such an outstanding eagerness to learn that you can’t help but be impressed by the determination of the Island’s young people. I’m delighted that many of our Academy members will return to continue their development, and excited that we can welcome a fresh intake of over 30 more budding sports stars to benefit from the experience and expertise shared by the Academy.

‘As one of the Isle of Man’s fastest growing and most innovative employers, Newfield is all about creating opportunities, inspiring people and nurturing talent so the Academy perfectly mirrors our own values. We look forward to seeing the foundations of year one being built on over the coming months to help propel the Island’s young people towards excellence.’

Photo: The Isle of Man Sports Aid Academy and its sponsors SMP Partners and Newfield welcome the new intake of young athletes joining the second year of the Academy

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