Shrewsbury School

Shrewsbury School Dedicated Athletes Programme

Friday 16 October 2020

Shrewsbury School is delighted to have received strong applications to join its Dedicated Athletes Programme from talented young sportsmen and sportswomen from local state schools.

Now in its fourth year the project is designed to provide expert additional support to help aspirational athletes to fulfil their potential and help to educate pupils about lifestyle behaviours which can contribute to becoming a top performer.  A total of 14; Key Stage 4 pupils have accepted the offer of a place on the Programme from Belvidere School, Meole Brace School, The Priory School and Shrewsbury Academy.  We support a wide range of sports, with this year’s cohort participating in tennis, cross country mountain biking, and athletics.

Andrew Pembleton, our new Director of Sport and Sam Mitchell, Head of Strength & Conditioning has been putting course content together – including a strong virtual offering given the current Covid19 restrictions.  Students will be encouraged to a complete strength and conditioning programme from home focusing on key fundamental movements and can look forward to individualised mentoring from PE staff at the school.  There will also be lectures and Q&A’s with athletes and industry sports scientists from a range of backgrounds throughout the year.

Andrew Pembleton comments:

"Our 'Dedicated Athletes Programme (DAP)’ is designed to support the non-linear development pathway of adolescent athletes.  We look to support those talented, committed, and aspirational pupils with extensive sport science support, giving the pupils the best opportunity of realising their sporting goals.  Much of this is aids develop a physically robust and mentally resilient athlete.  With regards to our outreach, we have lots of fantastic relationships within the local community and our DAP allows us to continue and grow these relationships.  Working with many different groups not only allows the students to benefit from great programmes and resources, but also allows us to create a footprint in the local community and helps young people to realise their ambitions, to lead a healthy life and be physically active; and essentially we want to be a part of that journey for young people."

Sam Mitchell stated:

"Sports science has evolved over the last 20 years. One of these facets is strength and conditioning where the science has indicated that regular participation in structured programmes is beneficial for youth athlete development and keeping them in sport for longer – which is a universal truth that we all hold dear. This programme is to educate aspiring young performers to train appropriately, and to realise their potential. With the current COVID-19 restrictions, we have adapted our delivery and produced online programmes with demonstration videos to support sporting high achievers. An adolescents sporting journey is a long and winding path, and I am thoroughly looking forward to working with and getting to know these local sportsmen and women."

Stuart Cowper, Head of Partnership and Community Engagement said:

"We are really pleased how popular and successful the DAP has been over the past four years and are now looking to refine and to develop it – not just during COVID-19, but also into the future.  I’d like to thank our colleagues in PE departments from partner schools locally for all their support, and we look forward to getting to work with this year’s cohort of talented athletes in support of their sporting ambitions."

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