Six top endurance runners on the England Athletics development pathway programme spent a day in Welkin Laboratories at the University of Brighton’s Eastbourne campus.
The England Athletics project aims to educate local coaches and talented athletes in the physiology of endurance running by utilising knowledge from university staff across the country. Over the next 12 months, many more athletes will be visiting the labs to undertake physiological assessment.
Athletes at the Eastbourne labs were mainly from Sussex and Kent and were put through their paces by Alex Bliss, Sport & Exercise Science Officer in the university’s School of Sport and Service Management.
He said, “The England Athletics initiative provides an excellent opportunity for local junior athletes to experience assessment methods that are undertaken by many of their Olympic idols in preparation for the Games. We can use the information obtained to help the athletes and coaches correctly structure their future training to help improve performance using scientific understanding.”
University of Brighton MPhil and MSc sport science students Ben Duncan, Andy Lamb, Carla Randall, Matt Nunn and Matt Debney gained vocational experience in working with high-level athletes.
Matt Nunn said, “It was a fantastic opportunity to gain practical experience testing elite young athletes, assisting with their training and offering them potential further improvement.”
Nicole Taylor, a member of Tonbridge Athletic Club, hopes to represent England and Great Britain in the future. She said, “I thoroughly enjoyed my day and found the people there really helpful. My coach and I hope this will lead to improved training.”