NI and Ulster Endurance Development Squad Returns
Following last year’s successful pilot, Athletics NI are pleased announce the selection for the 2016/2017 Ulster & NI Endurance Development Squads. The endurance initiative aims to develop promising young athletes and their coaches. Run in conjunction with the Ulster Athletics Council and Athletics Ireland the "Ulster & Northern Ireland Endurance Development Squad” weekends will be held three times across the year and provide an opportunity for the select group of developing endurance athletes to train together and learn key skills that will aid them in achieving success in endurance events.
Tom Crick, Director of Coaching and Athlete Development said, “With seven Ulster & NI endurance athletes at this year’s Rio Olympics, endurance in province has never been stronger. Furthermore, this year saw a growing number of non-African athletes winning medals. This is increasingly due to western coach’s focus on sports science, strength and conditioning and running mechanics as key ways to close the performance gap. The endurance development squads aim to introduce athletes and coaches to some of these factors, which will become increasingly important in future Olympic cycles.”
The Squad Weekends will begin on Friday evening and run until Sunday afternoon. Athletes may either travel in each day or stay in the accommodation provided at the venue. The weekend’s activities will include structured endurance running sessions as well as practical workshops on topics such as running mechanics, strength and conditioning, psychology and nutrition. The various sessions will be delivered by a team made up of Athletics NI staff and identified endurance coaches from across Ulster and Northern Ireland.
In order to be invited to the squad weekends athletes must meet specified selection criteria and have the approval of their personal coach to attend.
“While we want to put on events like this, I think it is also vital that coaches develop alongside their athletes”, says Crick. “Therefore, I’d like to encourage as many personal coaches to also attend as possible. Not only will they be able to observe and join in with some of the activities but we also plan to run a parallel stream of activity specifically for coaches across the weekend. I also think it will be a great opportunity for coaches to talk shop and learn from each other."
The first squad weekend will take place from 7pm Friday 30th September to Sunday 2nd of October 2016 at the Share Discovery Village in Lisnaskea near Upper Lough Erne. Full details and a timetable will be published in the coming weeks.
The selection criteria for the first squad day are detail on the Endurance Squads page of the Athletics NI website HERE along with a provisional list of athletes who Athletics NI believe have met the criteria.
During last year’s pilot there were several accidental omissions, so this year Athletics NI are providing a 7-day grace window for individuals who may have slipped through the cracks to contact the office and be added to the list.
If having looked carefully through the criteria you believe you have been accidentally omitted please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, which includes your name, date of birth and a direct link to the qualifying result. We are sorry but we cannot accept individuals onto the squad weekend without proof that they meet the criteria.
Bookings will then open at noon on Tuesday 30 August 2016 and be taken on a first come first served basis so look out for the press release next Tuesday!
Click HERE to see the selection criteria and a provisional list of eligible athletes.