Double Olympic Gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes and world cycling champions Jamie Staff and Shanaze Reade are guiding 75 talented youngsters ? 19 of them cyclists ? at the four-day National Talent Orientation Camp organised by the Youth Sport Trust at Loughborough (January 5-8).
The riders include BMX and track riders identified by British Cycling?s Talent Team project. Besides learning from the elite athletes, the youngsters, aged between 14 and 17, took part in Boot Camp sessions organised by the Armed Services.
That meant getting up at 6am for circuit training followed by a breakfast of porridge. They were given a series of command tasks to build confidence, self-esteem and develop skills in leadership and teamwork.
Elite BMX and track cycling world champion Shanaze Reade and former world track cycling champion Jamie Staff were invited to help in the event.
?I think this event is really helpful for the kids,? said Staff: ?I only wish I had something like this to go to when I was a kid.
?I wasted so many years just wandering around and I didn?t know how to train,? continued the 34-year old BMX turned track sprinter.
Shanaze Reade advises the youngsters
?We didn?t have a BMX coach so we just had to educate ourselves. That took years of experimentation of trial an error so learning from qualified coaches and experienced sports people is excellent. I was 28 before I really had a structured training programme. From that point on my results were better and more consistent even though I believe I was physically stronger earlier in my career.?
Nineteen-year-old Shanaze Reade was enjoying her visit to the camp. ?I actually excited to be here myself,? said Reade.
?I am here with all these talented athletes and I feel I am still one of the kids. I would have loved to have come up and completed the whole camp. The kids are so lucky to have this. It must be unreal to come along and meet people like Dame Kelly Holmes who is my idol.?
The Youth Sport Trust is a registered charity formed in 1994 with the aim ?to build better futures for all young people through PE and school sport.?
There are 400 sports colleges in England, plus extensions in Europe, Russia and Africa.