NURTURE TALENT

Athletics Weekly - - Performance -

SOME other sports are of­ten seen as a threat to ath­let­ics par­tic­i­pa­tion at ju­nior level. Cer­tainly, at my club, we have a reg­u­lar num­ber of 12 and 13-yearolds who rarely race be­cause of other sports com­mit­ments. Yet pa­tience can pay off.

This week a tal­ented 15-year-old told me he was quit­ting his main sport, row­ing, be­cause the 14hour train­ing week was killing him.

I was also con­tacted by a par­ent who told me that her daugh­ter, aged 12 and a re­gional-level gym­nast, had bro­ken down in dis­il­lu­sion­ment over an­other in­jury and her 26-hour weekly train­ing reg­i­men.

Per­haps the an­swer is to nurture chil­dren who choose other sports above our own. If we can main­tain their con­tact with ath­let­ics, then we can also catch them when they fall.

- Peta Bee, per­for­mance ed­i­tor

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