Around 40 athletes, parents and coaches attended the session held at St Ninian’s Lower School in Onchan on Friday (13th), to reflect on the lessons the programme has taught the youngsters and to look ahead at what is in store next.
It kicked off with a Q&A with 2016 Isle of Man U21 Sportswoman of the Year, Ella Doherty, herself a graduate of the Academy, talking with local Sports Consultant Paul Jones. They discussed on stage the challenges that the young athlete has faced over the past two years and how she has dealt with them and, continues to deal with them, to highlight to others that the road to success is never a straightforward one.
After the Q&A athletes were split into groups, each one taking turns to cover different topics which included a review of the roles of the athletes, parents and coaches, a basic introduction to sports psychology and an outline of the talent pathway in the Isle of Man.
Isle of Man Sport Aid Sports Performance Coordinator Chris Quine said: ‘As the third Sport Aid Academy comes to an end it is a good time to reflect upon the past 10 months and look ahead to the autumn for the start of the 2018-19 programme. We are always looking at ways to improve the sessions and work closely with the athletes to ensure we are doing what we can to give them the best chance at succeeding in performance sport, and providing them with the information and knowledge they need.
‘I hope they all have an enjoyable summer, wish them the best of luck in any competitions they have planned for the season and look forward to welcoming them back in September.’
Mark Denton, Managing Director of SMP Partners, said: ‘It has been a pleasure to sponsor Sport Aid Academy for the third year and it’s great to see how the youngsters have developed since September. I hope they have picked up some valuable lessons which are beneficial to both their sporting careers and wider life, and look forward to catching up with them again come Autumn.’
Mark Reynolds, Director at Newfield, added: ‘The final Sport Aid Academy of the 2017-18 programme touched upon some very important points and I hope the athletes were able to take something positive away from the session. Understanding that the journey to success is full of ups and downs and having the ability to handle those downs can be difficult, especially for younger sportspeople, so it was great for them to hear first-hand from someone that has had some big hurdles to overcome and is doing so well.’