More than 80 youngsters ranging from the under-15 to under-20 age groups attended the camp which was held for the first time this year at the University of Birmingham Sport and Fitness. The London Marathon have been running this camp for 16 years to help develop young talented athletes into senior stars of the future, exposing them to new training ideas, experts and guest athletes and coaches – and this is the first time it’s been held at the University of Birmingham.
Athletes from across the UK are invited to the camp as a result of performances at the English Schools Championships – both cross-country and track – the Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon and Vitality Westminster Mile. The teenagers participated in a range of track and grass sessions and were also given lessons on everything – from diet and nutrition, to goal-setting and managing their seasons effectively. All of this took place on the University of Birmingham track, which opened in 2017.
A host of star names from across the sport were brought into the camp to speak to the youngsters over the course of the week. They included current GB middle-distance athletes Melissa Courtney and Sarah McDonald and former World Championships medallists Hannah England and Jenny Meadows.
The camp is supported by New Balance and was run by former Great Britain international Luke Gunn (pictured), our Head of Athletics. He said:
“We have had a fantastic week with some of the best young athletes in the country. We hope that they have learned a lot from this week and they can take those learnings away and use them to develop their careers.”
Scott Overall, from London Marathon Events, said he was delighted that the first camp to be held in Birmingham had been such a success.
“The University of Birmingham has been a great setting for the London Marathon Young Athletes Camp and the athletes have had an experience which will really stand them in good stead as they look to progress. Luke and his team put on a week-long programme that was both engaging and educational for the athletes and we hope to see many of them progress from here.”
This is the 16th year of the London Marathon Young Athletes Camp, and is one of the initiatives in place to try to meet their objective to improve the standard of British endurance running.
Athletes to have attended the camp previously include Callum Hawkins, Laura Weightman, Steph Twell and Melissa Courtney.
Find out more about Athletics at UoB by following the University of Birmingham Athletics Club on Twitter.