Speedworks Charity was created to address a fundamental issue highlighted by English Athletics (in conjunction with Sheffield Hallam University) research paper “Bridging the Gap,” 2011:
“…how do we retain as many young athletes in the sport as we can but in addition how do we develop and condition those to give them the best opportunity to succeed as seniors?”
Research shows that of 513 athletes who ranked in the Top 20 as Under 15s, only 13% retain this status as Under 20s.
Many young athletes drop out of the sport as they reach adulthood. This can be for a variety of reasons including lifestyle, educational and financial pressures. It can also be down to a lack of access and availability of high quality coaching and support.
Speedworks Charity enables young, aspiring sprinters (aged 18-22) to access the Speedworks Training System, via a talent development squad. The Speedworks Training System is an elite speed training system that has been developed by the charity’s Performance Director, Jonas Dodoo…a system that has been instrumental in developing a number of Great Britain’s rising stars to medal winning performances at national, international and Olympic level. Read Case Studies.
Every member of this squad receives 28 hours of elite training per week, for 11 months of the year, at the excellent Lee Valley facility in London, led by Head Coach Marvin Rowe. The squad also has access to a range of professional support services including osteopathy, sports physiotherapy, nutrition and counselling.
The focus is on developing the full potential of each young athlete’s ability to a level that sees them compete in the global arena, whilst teaching them the life skills that will shape them into well-rounded individuals who positively contribute to the sport and the world around them. This athlete-led approach ensures that each member of the squad has the best chance of attaining peak physical condition, whilst developing emotional intelligence. Some of our young athletes have come from challenging backgrounds and many of the lessons they learn from us will last them a lifetime.
A key element of the charity’s philosophy is that those with exceptional talent should not be discriminated against because of their background. That is why Speedworks Charity squad members pay either a low nominal fee, or a subsidised fee, depending on their personal circumstances. This is vital in helping alleviate the financial pressures often faced by those with elite potential.
Squad members also have the unique opportunity to be inspired by current, world class Speedworks Training athletes who have also come through the process. World Championship and Olympic 4x100m medallist Darryl Neita and London 2017 World Championship 100m finalist Reece Prescod are two such athletes who offer mentorship to the squad. Their understanding of what the squad members are going through, as well as what it takes to be a great athlete and sport ambassador, is invaluable.
The “Bridging the Gap” report stated that:
“Athletes and coaches identified 3 key critical success factors that drive achievement, these are: intrinsic motivation, coaching and the support of family and friends.”
It went on further to say that, “High quality coaching input is widely acknowledged as being the most important external input to an athlete’s development in the sport.”
Speedworks Charity works with those young individuals who have that intrinsic motivation and talent. We provide them with elite coaching that has proven results and give them all the support they need, as they become part of the Speedworks “family and friends.”
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