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29 June 2011, 12:50 | Updated: 4 July 2011, 11:08
Dame Kelly Holmes, and other world-class athletes, have been at the University of Bedfordshire today (Wednesday June 29th) talking to youngsters about what it’s like to be a top sportsperson.
“Unlocking Potential”, an event organised by Dame Kelly’s charity, the DKH Legacy Trust, aims to boost the potential of young aspiring young athletes and will put around 100 pupils from Bedford Academy, All Saints Academy, Barnfield South and Barnfield West Academies through their paces through a series of workshops.
The workshops, at the Bedford Campus, have included circuit training (led by two-time rowing World Champion and Olympian Toby Garbett) communicating with the media and metal skills training with the aim of inspiring the athletes to their potential.
Some of the advice Dame Kelly has been giving the youngsters today has included what barriers and challenges they may face during their career. She’s been telling Heart that barriers can be overcome through participating of sport:
“Along that journey we all have these ups and downs and there’s a lot of time you question yourself as a person to say whether it’s what you want, is it worth it, or there might be financial implication or injury or health problem. Sport has the ability to bring you back and to focus.
“Any sports champion has gone through the complete rollercoaster ride of emotions and issues that have been barriers to their success and their future. But ultimately they have worked through it, they learn and listen and they realise they are not the only person.”
John Brewer is a professor of sport at the University of Bedfordshire. He’s been telling Heart how it feels to have the Olympian on campus today:
“The university has got a long heritage of sports persons and we train PE teachers but obviously to have someone of Kelly’s calibre, a double Olympic champion, here at the campus working with local children is really absolutely fantastic. It’s the culmination of 12 months of hard work to bring Kelly and her team here.”
“I hope most, if not all of the children, will go away and will remember this day for the rest of their lives. They’ll remember that opportunity to have worked with a double Olympic champion – I think for me that is something that is really really important.
“If it inspires them to change their lives a little bit, to do something different, to be a bit more determined, then hopefully that will be something that leads them to improving and changing their lives in the future.”
To listen to the full interview with John Brewer click here