The continuation of the sponsorship agreement was confirmed on Friday, at the eighth Academy workshop, and final event of the second year. During the workshop leading independent trust and corporate services provider SMP Partners and eGaming firm Newfield confirmed ongoing commitment to the Academy.
The event, attended by 34 students alongside coaches and parents, focussed on mind management, with Leonie Lightfoot from Chimp Management leading sessions highlighting the importance of understanding and managing the functioning of the mind for achieving success in sport.
Chimp Management, founded by Professor Steve Peters, has been a leader in this specialist field for more than a decade and has worked with Team Sky, Team GB and Liverpool Football Club among many others.
During the two-hour Academy workshop young Island athletes were taught the basics of how to understand and manage their 'chimp' in order to better perform during training, periods of rest and during competitions.
The Sport Aid Academy was launched in 2015 as a platform to help athletes aged 13 to 17 across a number of sporting disciplines who are in the tier below those currently supported by Isle of Man Sport Aid.
It aims to equip the Island's young sportspeople with the support, skills and knowledge to work towards becoming elite athletes, with the programme's success evidenced by a number of attendees being selected to compete for the Isle of Man at the Island Games in June, where the Manx team topped the medal table, and for the upcoming Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas. It is aimed towards young sportspeople Isle of Man Sport Aid Sports Performance Co-ordinator Chris Quine said: 'The Academy has had another fantastic year, giving young athletes invaluable information, tuition and support as they develop in their sports. By speaking to the youngsters, as well as watching their performance levels, it is clear that the Academy is delivering huge benefits.
'I'm delighted we will be able to continue the programme for a third year, which will allow man of the current attendees to further their knowledge as well as allowing more youngster to join. I'm very grateful to SMP partners and Newfield for renewing their sponsorship as the Academy wouldn't be possible without this support.
'We've already started to plan year three of the programme and I know that the content of the workshops will be of a huge boost to the young athletes who are flourishing in their individual disciplines.'
Mark Denton, Managing Director of SMP Partners, added: 'It has been clear over the first two years of the Academy that there has been a positive impact on the attendees as they learn lessons which will not only help them in their sport, but will also serve them well whatever path their lives take.
'Helping people achieve their potential is very much the ethos at SMP Partners and we are pleased to be continuing out support for a programme which mirrors this ambition and delivers real results for the Island's youngsters.'
Mark Reynolds, a Director at eGaming firm Newfield, concluded: 'When you speak to the young athletes who attend the Academy, they are energised and full of enthusiasm at every workshop. You can see the positive contribution the Academy is having by the number of members excelling in their chosen sports, including representing the Isle of Man on the international stage, and doing that so successfully.
'We had absolutely no hesitation about continuing our support for a third year and we're looking forward to seeing what Isle of Man Sports has in store for the phase of the programme.'