Elite athletes and parents supported with wellbeing through new initiative

A new partnership which sees 11 national governing bodies of sport work with a national children’s sports charity will help educate up and coming young athletes in the rigours of performance sport, protecting their mental health and wellbeing.

Thanks to funding from Sport England through the National Lottery, the Youth Sport Trust has created free online resources for young athletes in partnership with NGBs and will deliver workshops at top sporting events this year to more than 1,000 young people in sports’ talent programmes through YST Talent.

The charity, which pioneers new ways of using sport to create a brighter future for young people, has said that athlete education is so much broader than mastery of the tactical and technical aspects of sport and that things like balancing training, competition, and social lives alongside school work are critical in our support of these young people striving to maximise their potential.

Ali Oliver, Chief Executive from the Youth Sport Trust, said:

Today’s young people already face a raft of issues which are widely documented and can be heightened when asked to compete at the top level. This summer is an exciting time with so many high-profile sporting events taking place but it’s important that we have support mechanisms and education programmes in place to help the next generation of elite athletes to thrive in their lives in and beyond sport. This Sport England Lottery Funding allows us to reach and support so many of those young people with partnership with the governing bodies and organisations such as UK Anti-Doping.

As well as reaching young people, the Youth Sport Trust has identified a need to engage parents of talented young athletes and provide them with the tools they need to support young athletes on talent pathways.

Online support, ideas and education will be placed into the pockets of parents and carers through an app which has been designed with the input of leading sports professionals and academics and uses the Youth Sport Trust’s 20 years of accumulated expertise in this area. It covers topics on the science of being a young person, balancing education & sport and competition support.

Jayne Molyneux, Director of Children and Young People at Sport England, said:

“Our job at Sport England is to make sure that the young stars of tomorrow enjoy their sporting experiences while training to win. In fact, our Talent Plan highlights that having fun and enjoying sport in a talent system that is accessible to everyone is key to success on the global stage.

“We want all young people to have a positive experience of sport and for those that want to progress further to be supported to go onto fulfil their potential. That’s why we are investing in 11 National Governing Bodies of Sport with the Youth Sport Trust to provide young athletes and their parents with a comprehensive education programme to help them hone their skills in their discipline while supporting them to cope with the pressures of training to win and balancing everyday life.”

The support programme takes place complementing the School Games National Finals, which is one of the great legacies of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and is a springboard for future sports stars. The School Games National Finals is delivered by the Youth Sport Trust through National Lottery funding from Sport England.

Dame Katherine Grainger, Chair of UK Sport, said:

Being a young athlete on a performance pathway is such a brilliant exciting place to be. There is so much to learn, for both the athletes and their parents, in the quest to be as good as they can be. Having support and guidance along the journey is a huge help to make sure it is the best possible experience for everyone, and athletes can enjoy achieving their potential in every way.

In the countdown to the Road World Championships and following a number of successful events where support was provided to young athletes throughout the summer, British Cycling Chief Executive, Julie Harrington, said:

“We are incredibly thankful to the Youth Sport Trust for their support in preparing young athletes for the demands of the next step of competition, and this partnership complements our own commitment to young people who are already involved in the Sport England Talent Development pathway.

“At British Cycling we are always striving to ensure riders thrive as individuals as well as athletes, and I am sure that the educational materials developed will be another great asset to help us further this aim.”

The YST will be providing free support and advice through its athlete mentors at the following events:

Date

Sport

Event

Location

7th August

Cycling

2019 National Youth and Junior Track Championships N.Y.O

Newport

8th August

Cycling

Cycling - 2019 National Youth and Junior Track Championships N.Y.O

Newport

21st August

Hockey

Futures Cup

St Albans

22nd August

Hockey

Futures Cup

St Albans

23rd August

Hockey

Futures Cup

St Albans

24th August

Hockey

Futures Cup

St Albans

23rd August

Wheelchair tennis

Dan Maskell Junior Wheelchair Team Tennis Tournament

Nottingham

28th August

Cricket

Girls ECB School Games 2019

Loughborough

29th August

Cricket

Girls ECB School Games 2019

Loughborough

30th August

Cricket

Girls ECB School Games 2019

Loughborough

30th August

Wheelchair basketball

3v3 Training Camp

Loughborough

31st August

Wheelchair basketball

3v3 Training Camp

Loughborough

1st September

Wheelchair basketball

3v3 Training Camp

Loughborough

30th August - PM Only.

Netball

England Netball U15’s Championships

Wolverhampton

31st August

Netball

England Netball U15’s Championships

Wolverhampton

1st September

Netball

England Netball U15’s Championships

Wolverhampton

31st August

Athletics

U17 & U15 Outdoor Championships

Bedford

1st September

Athletics

U17 & U15 Outdoor Championships

Bedford

1st September

Laser Run

Discover Laser Run Series Finals

Solihull

For more information about YST Talent visit www.youthsporttrust.org/yst-talent or follow the activity on social media using #YSTAthleteSupport.

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