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Supporting the sporting stars of the future

Supporting the sporting stars of the future

Ann Bevan of Sport Wales and Cllr Robert Bevan, with some of RCT's young sports stars

Sporting stars of the future in Rhondda Cynon Taf are being supported through a new initiative which got off the starting blocks this month.

The Future Champions project has been developed by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Sport RCT team in response to concerns that talented young sports people are not being given sufficient opportunities and support to reach their potential in sport.

Sport RCT, part of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Leisure Services, launched the new initiative at Llantrisant Leisure Centre on Tuesday, March 25 .

A total of 70 athletes from the country borough, representing 13 sports, were inducted onto the programme and will start educational workshops on April 8.

Competitive sport can be expensive to take part in, and the Future Champions project aims to provide a comprehensive and holistic athlete support programme that is truly accessible to every talented athlete selected to join the project.

In order to supply this level of service, partnerships with local facilities, training providers, national governing bodies, Sport Wales and investors are paramount.

Athletes represent 13 of the 17 Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014 sports:

Athletics

Badminton

Cycling

Gymnastics

Hockey

Judo

Lawn Bowls

Netball

Shooting

Squash

Swimming

Table Tennis

Weightlifting

Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, Leisure & Tourism,Cllr Robert Bevan, said: “Targeting talented sports people between the ages 11 and 17, the Future Champions projects aims to engage, educate and inspire more young people to continue participating in sport.

“It will provide athlete and parent workshops and clinics, peer support networks and access to role models and financial aid. This is a fully-inclusive project engaging with talented disabled and non-disabled athletes.”

The main aspect of the project will be a series of eight educational workshops delivered between April 2014 and March 2015.

Evidence shows sporting success is not solely down to the skill or talent of the athlete but the athlete’s trainability, mental toughness, diet, social support, ability to overcome injury, recover from disappointment, balancing school or work and sport etc. The following educational topics will be covered at the workshops:

Mental skills including confidence building, dealing with stress and pressure
The support network (role of the parent, coach, school and peers)
Training and competition planning
Leadership (taking responsibility and ownership for your future)
Strength and conditioning
Injury prevention
Diet and nutrition
Time management (balancing school, work and family commitments)
Looking after your body and mind (sleep, hygiene, rest, peers, socialising)
Fitness suite inductions (the right training at the right age)
Education and career planning

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