We hear of many athletes that have been in their sport from a very young age, training and playing in one sport for their whole lives. However, what if your sporting talents lie in a sport you haven’t even seen before, let alone tried participating in.
We have many young athletes that train hard to optimise great feats of athleticism and skill that can be transferred to many different sports that their eyes may not have been open to. It is our job at trainers to show them they can be successful in their chosen sport, in a sport they have never tried or a sport they have never even heard of.
Athletes Success Stories
London 2012 – Gold Medallist
Sport: Rowing (women’s pair, with Heather Stanning)
Former Sport: Athletics, Hockey
Best results: London 2012 Olympic gold medallist, Belgrade World Cup, (gold), 2012 Lucerne World Cup (gold), 2011 World Championships (silver), 2011 Lucerne World Cup (gold), 2011 Munich World Cup (gold)
All-rounder Helen grew up in Penzance in a sporty family and from an early age was involved in sport. At the age of 14 she was playing hockey for the England satellite squad, captaining her county team and also playing tennis and swimming for her county. After being selected to run for England, Helen continued her love of sport by commencing a degree in Sport and Exercise science at the University of Wales.
Helen started rowing in 2008 through the UK Talent Team (UK Sport and English Institute of Sport) Sporting Giants scheme and was placed on to the GB Rowing Team’s Start programme, sponsored by Siemens, in Bath and coached by GB Rowing’s Paul Stannard. Prior to this she had absolutely no experience with rowing.
Speaking to the Guardian about the Sporting Giants process, Helen said: “They tested 4,500 of us in groups of 200 at a time. I remember sitting in a room in Bisham Abbey and someone saying ‘a gold medallist in 2012 could be sat in this room. Look around you.’ I thought: right, I’m going to make that me. It was quite surreal.”
More Success Stories…
London 2012 – Bronze Medalist
Lutalo joined the GB Taekwondo programme after applying for the Fighting Chance talent ID campaign. Since coming onto the World Class Programme, Lutalo has won several major competitions, most notably bronze at London 2012.
Sochi 2014 – Gold Medallist
Lizzy applied for the UK Sport and EIS Talent ID campaign, Girls4Gold in 2008 having never tried Skeleton before. Just five years later Lizzy won gold in Sochi 2014.