Coaching Stars of the future

OVER 100 would-be Olympians took their marks in two Startrack UK Athletics Coaching Schemes at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow.

OVER 100 would-be Olympians took their marks in two Startrack UK Athletics Coaching Schemes at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow.

Former European 800m indoor champion David Sharpe has been at the helm of the courses for a number of years under the heading of Mini Olympics, but this year the week-long events were relaunched under the Startrack banner with all the competing youngsters receiving a goody bag that included a shoe bag, water bottle, T-shirt, wrist bands, certificate and autograph book.

South Tyneside Council sports development assistant Andrea Fyall said she was delighted that so many youngsters signed on for the event.

“Sadly we had to turn some away from the first of the two courses,” said Andrea, who, together with Sharpe, was one of a number of registered coaches in attendance.

“The aim for all of the groups over the week is to try out as many athletics events as possible such as throwing the javelin, discus, putting the shot and testing their skills at pole vault, high jump, hurdles and long jump, finishing off each session with a competition.

“At the end of the week, the leading girl and boy received a medal, while the youngster with the best attitude was awarded a wooden plaque.

“If the first course is anything to go by then those who attend this week’s event will be in for an enjoyable time.”

South Tyneside Council has also run a Mini Athletics Course over the holidays for the first time which has also been popular.

“Because of this we are starting up a mini club in September which is already full with a waiting list,” added Andrea.

“We make it fun and play lots of games with basic throwing, jumping and running skills involved.

“The idea is to have a progression into older Junior Athletics and Startrack schemes, and eventually we hope they will move through into the athletics club environment which slowly introduces children to competition and training at a lower level.”

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