Seven hours of train­ing ev­ery day was worth it

Bea­cons­field School year seven pupil Fin­lay Mor­gan writes about his ex­pe­ri­ence at a gym­nas­tics train­ing camp at the na­tional train­ing cen­tre at Lille­shall

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SCHOOL REPORT -

IN Novem­ber, I com­peted in the men’s artis­tic gym­nas­tics fi­nals at Birm­ing­ham’s GMAC cen­tre. I came fifth and, as a re­sult of this, I was of­fered a place on a train­ing camp at Lille­shall, the Gym­nas­tics Na­tional Train­ing Cen­tre in Shrop­shire.

This train­ing camp took place in the last week of term, which meant that I had to miss a few days of school, but it was re­ally worth it as I had an amaz­ing time.

The train­ing cen­tre is one of the finest gym­nas­tics train­ing fa­cil­i­ties in the world and of­fers a base for top-level in­ter­na­tional ath­letes. As the home of the Bri­tish Gym­nas­tics As­so­ci­a­tion since the 1970s, the cen­tre is well equipped to cater for all lev­els of gym­nas­tic train­ing, and you of­ten see world fa­mous gym­nasts, many of whom have com­pleted in the Olympics. When I went last year, I met Sam Old­ham and Max Whit­lock and this year I met Daniel Purvis and Christian Thomas, who gave us an in­ter­view where we were able to ask him ques­tions. I found this quite in­spir­ing as he is the cur­rent in­ter­na­tional cham­pion on high bar.

It took two-and-a-half hours to get there and my coach drove my train­ing part­ner and I to the camp. When we ar­rived, we went straight to the gym to start train­ing, a ses­sion that lasted three hours, fol­lowed by lunch and a break un­til 2.30pm when we then trained for a fur­ther four hours. We had a quick break to check into our rooms and take a shower and then came down for din­ner in the din­ing hall. This was fol­lowed by our evening ac­tiv­ity – on the night of our ar­rival we watched the 1998 Olympics fi­nal.

The rooms at Lille­shall are very lux­u­ri­ous and all the rooms have in­spi­ra­tional quotes on them, the quote on our room was “Noth­ing can stop the per­son with the right men­tal at­ti­tude from achiev­ing their goal; noth­ing on earth can help a per­son with the wrong men­tal at­ti­tude”.

The rest of the days fol­lowed the same for­mat with train­ing after break­fast for three hours and then again in the af­ter­noon for four hours and with an evening ac­tiv­ity, in­clud­ing bas­ket­ball and foot­ball, and we also watched a movie.

Lille­shall was an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, made even bet­ter this year be­cause my friend came

HARD WORK: Bea­cons­field School Year 7 gym­nas­tics ace Fin­lay Mor­gan with me. The train­ing was not too de­mand­ing but the long days were quite tir­ing.

I learnt quite a few new skills, in­clud­ing land­ing my first dou­ble-twist­ing som­er­sault. Over­all, I had great fun and would do it again in flash.

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