Olympic legend Dame Kelly Holmes will return for the final session of the Isle of Man Sporting Excellence Programme’s second year on March 23.
Double Olympic champion Dame Kelly will lead a team of experts during the latest Talent Day at the National Sports Centre in Douglas, which almost 100 local sports performers and coaches have been invited to attend.
The event is the third and final Talent Day of Year Two of the programme, which was launched in 2012 to inspire and prepare a new generation of sporting champions. Supported by leading Island businesses SMP Partners, Creechurch Capital and Microgaming, the programme has been delivered by Kelly Holmes Education, and also involves Isle of Man Sport, the Isle of Man Coaches Association and the Isle of Man Commonwealth Games Association.
On the same day, Sport Relief will be supported by thousands of people and the Isle of Man participants will do their bit by running a mile with Dame Kelly around the athletics track at the NSC. Sport Relief events are being held around Britain from Friday 21 to Sunday 23 March to raise money for projects that change lives both at home and abroad.
In addition to elements of physical training, the programme offers expert knowledge to address the emotional, physiological, psychological and social aspects of being a top sports performer.
During the final Talent Day, there will be a Sprints Master Class with Elite Athlete Montell Douglas and her coach Daniel Plummer. Douglas, who represented Great Britain at the 2008 Olympic Games, is the current holder of the British Record for the 100 metres.
There will also be a Functional Movement and Conditioning Master Class with former professional footballer Drewe Broughton and Mark Bennett, MBE. UK Anti-Doping will be running a workshop on preparing for Major Games. Dame Kelly will lead a discussion on gaining sponsorship, before taking an aqua running session in the pool with former 800m runner turned competitive cyclist Dani Christmas. Coaches will have a further session with qualified Trainer and Coach Mark Bennett MBE, who designed Performance Development Systems and has worked with Premiership Rugby, NBA, British Military, University of Washington and English Golf.
The Talent Day will be attended by Isle of Man sporting performers and coaches from across a broad range of sports, including many who are focused on the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Dame Kelly said: ‘Over the two years of the Isle of Man Sporting Excellence Programme we have achieved so much, helping sports performers and their coaches achieve their potential in their chosen sport with support from experts who have performed and worked on the international stage.’
‘The programme hasn’t just focused on performance, but many other skills which are vital in competing at the highest level in modern sport, including coping with injury, nutrition, psychological preparation for major events, dealing with the media and taking care of sponsorship.’
‘It was a delight to see so many people who attended Year One of the programme excel at the Island Games in 2013, when the Isle of Man claimed its biggest medal haul ever, and I hope we will see similar results at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.’
She added: ‘While there is a lot of work to be covered during this Talent Day, we hope it will also be a celebration of everything that has been achieved over the past two years, and all the success I know is to come for Isle of Man sports performers and coaches.’
Managing Director of SMP Partners Mark Denton said:
‘We are very proud to have been part of the Isle of Man Sporting Excellence Programme over the past two years, giving Island sports performers and coaches access to unrivalled tuition and training from top professionals and world class athletes.’
‘I have closely followed the fortunes of the programme participants and have seen for myself the positive impact the programme has had on Manx sport. I’ m looking forward to taking my seat at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow later this year to cheer on Team Isle of Man, which I’m sure will feature many performers who have benefited from the Sporting Excellence Programme.’
Roger Raatgever, CEO of Microgaming, added:
‘The Sporting Excellence Programme is unique to the island and I’m thrilled that we have played our part in it. It has provided a rare opportunity for our local athletes to gain insight on such varied topics; all of which are essential to become a top-performing athlete. We are delighted to be welcoming Dame Kelly Holmes back to the island for the final Talent Day – Kelly will see first-hand what an impact the programme has made.’
‘As the second year of the programme draws to an end, I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved in creating, executing and developing the programme. It has been invaluable and I know we’ll see this pay off in Glasgow!’
Creechurch Capital CEO John Greenwood said:
‘As we near ever closer to Glasgow, we’re all looking forward to seeing the results of what has been a fantastic programme for the Island and its young sportspeople.
‘We’re thrilled to have been able to play a little part in this and see the results of two years of hard work. We’ll also be supporting Taekwondo medal hopeful, Aaron Cook, who we are supporting through our Creechurch Sports Academy.’
Isle of Man Sports Performance Co-ordinator Chris Quine concluded: ‘The Sporting Excellence Programme has been a fabulous opportunity for our local sportsmen and women, as well as their coaches, to gain a greater insight into the various elements that go into making a champion. Everyone is looking forward to the workshops and I am sure that Dame Kelly and her team will deliver another interesting, thought-provoking and fun day of activities.
‘Special thanks are due to the programme sponsors without whom this programme would not be taking place. Hopefully our athletes will reward them for their support and enthusiasm both in Glasgow and in years to come.’