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Emma Latham is pictured with the Steam Packet's Geoff Corkish earlier in the month. She becomes the youngest contributor to the website with an excellent report from the young race walkers coaching weekend.


Young Racewalkers Coaching Weekend

by Emma Latham   24-03-03


On Friday 21st March Ciara Kaneen, Robert Moore, Callum Taylor, our coach Elizabeth Corran and I travelled the four hour boat journey to Heysham. We arrived in Heysham at approximately 11.00pm and drove to a Travel Inn somewhere near Preston. We were tired out!. To make things worse we had to be up at 6.00am to travel to Nuneaton. With much grumbling and persuasion from Liz we managed to be on our way for 7.45am. It took us less time than we expected so we went into town to buy our lunch for that afternoon. We then made our way to the Pingles Leisure Centre. One thing is for sure it made us appreciate the sports facilities we have on the Island !!! There were some familiar faces of people we had competed against in the past so not everyone were strangers. At about 10.30am we headed for the track for our first session, a sprint session. We were spaced out along the back straight according to our 2km times and we had to sprint 400m from that point, but instead of stopping after 400m we continued to the 1500m mark where we counted how many cones we passed from there to the 200m mark without being overtaken by the fastest person. It could not have been a nicer day when it came to the weather but it also meant we were very dehydrated. Next we had some fun in our teams with some football, but it was a little different. There were three teams, three nets and two balls on the pitch at once. After this we were taken inside to complete a sheet asking us whether we should be here. It asked us questions like Are you Committed? Focused? Ambitious? etc. We had to rate ourselves 1-4, 1 being Oops! and 4 being Oh Yes! This was followed by what everyone had been waiting for, Lunch!

The start of the afternoon began with a core stability session taken by Martin, a potential world class coach. He taught us exercises which could improve our strength so our walking was more powerful. We then made our way to the park area next to the track for a continuous relay in our teams. The first leg walked 1600m, the second 1800m, and the third 2000m. all the time the points were being added to our overall team total. Later we got a chance to relax and get to know some more people when we had swimming followed by a disco and buffet. We departed for our accommodation at approximately 10.45pm.

Sunday started with a 15min jog from the accommodation before breakfast. We then loaded our stuff into the cars and went back to the Pingles Centre for a cooked or continental breakfast. It was then upstairs for the video analysis. We all benefited from the tactics talk that was given, and the tips which were given to us by the coaches based on the video analysis. Next was an endurance session. We could choose our distance as long as it was over the distance we would do in a race. Robert walked around the park while Callum, Ciara and I walked on the track. Callum walked 4km and Ciara and I walked 4km plus 800m. The sun was shining and I think we all enjoyed our session. This was followed by another game of football which the blues won (my team), but the overall winners were the greens (Roberts team). We then had to do an evaluation sheet for the whole weekend followed by another swimming session. After this it was time for goodbyes and for us to head to Liverpool for our journey home. Little did we know we would end up running to get the boat and still not arriving home until 2.30am. It was a long journey there and back but it was worth it! I am sure we would all like to thank Jill Longford and Brian Adams for inviting us and Liz for putting up with us. Thanks.



 Emma's mention of Jill Langford in her report gave me a chance to raid my large collection of unused pictures from the Manchester Commonwealth Games. Jill, the mother of Commonwealth Games silver medallist Lisa Kehler, is pictured with British 50km record holder and 5 times Olympic athlete, Chris Maddocks.




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