Many of you will recall that we are committed to hosting specialist training camps with Elite Coaches to help our athletes to work towards their goals. Part of our series of these will always include a little ‘chalk and talk’ with the people who have ‘been there and done that’ regarding elite level performance as a track and field athlete.

For the latest in our series, we are thrilled to announce that we are running a virtual session with 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist Heather Fell OLY

Heather is going to talk to all our competitive age athletes about her experience as a junior athlete and how she transitioned from that to success as an adult at the Olympics. There will also be plenty of time for Q&A so do come prepared with questions.

More information on Heather can be found here.

If your athlete is in Brentwood Beagles Athletics Club Group 4 or the Sprint or Endurance squads of our Performance Academy the invite is available in our Spond app.

For those of you not in the know… we are incredibly fortunate to have a sprint coach who himself is a former elite athlete, Mark Smith. Mark was an awesome sprinter and knows only too well how challenging the progression to elite status can be. Mark had this to say about the up coming Heather Fell session:

Please do consider the opportunity of hearing from Heather Fell. As a former athlete and now BBAC coach I can say without reservation move from junior to senior athlete was my hardest challenge.

As a 12 year old starting out in athletics I was in it for the fun and enjoyed training 2 to 3 times a week with other like minded kids, no one could predict where the athletic journey would take any of us at such a young age. Suddenly the end of the junior years arrives; with maturity brings a greater risk of injuries, personal goals change and can be in conflict with what others aims are for you both as an athlete and adult . Add to all that, parents/guardians may be unsure in which ways they should support. Dropout during the junior to senior athlete transition is commonplace predominantly due to injury – where the knock on effects can be dire – and lack of success and de-motivation not necessarily in that order. Young adults will be ready to be responsible for the “what, where, when and how”, e.g. entering events, how to get there, when to train, how to look after yourself. Parents/ guardians therefore also undergoing a role reversal of sorts! Perhaps now being told how to support and when.

I fortunately had both very supportive parents and great coaches during my transition years, and I can tell you they were also my most injury strewn.

If there is one thing I would change if I had my time as a young athlete again, it be would be the opportunity to hear from those who had made it as a senior. As a parent/guardian helping understand what journey could be ahead for your children is just as important – who knows who we might have in Beagles now as future as Olympian, World or Commonwealth representative.

Do consider taking this opportunity.

Mark, BBAC Sprints coach
1990 U20 National Champion 200m and Championship record holder, 1990 World Junior Championships 200m finalist, 4x100m Great Britain U20 record holder. 1994 England rep 4x100m, 4x 400m Commonwealth Games. Victoria, Canada

Any questions just get in touch!