The Isle of Man Sport Aid Academy is welcoming more than 70 young Manx athletes onto the programme on Friday, 15th September.
Following the success of the first two years, with some of the athletes representing the Isle of Man at the Island Games and Commonwealth Youth Games, the third year sees a new class comprising 74 aspiring young athletes from across many disciplines.
The first event of the year will be held at St Ninian’s Lower School and follows the format of two boot camp weekends followed by eight further workshops over the coming year. The curriculum has been revised from the first two years and starts with setting the scene for the programme, looking at the challenges they may face in their sporting careers and discussing the attributes they need to develop in order to succeed.
During the programme the new intake will benefit from the experience of even more coaches, mentors and local athletes, with visually impaired Paralympian swimmer and cyclist Ian Sharpe, multi-Commonwealth Games cyclist Andrew Roche and Olympic cyclist Marie Morgan sharing their stories at the first weekend.
Independent trust and corporate services provider SMP Partners and eGaming firm Newfield ‘s renewed sponsorship of the academy was announced in July.
The Sport Aid Academy was launched in 2015 as a platform to help athletes aged 13 to 17 who are in the tier below those currently supported by Isle of Man Sport Aid. It aims to equip the Island’s young sportspeople with the support, skills and knowledge to work towards becoming elite athletes.
Isle of Man Sport Aid Sports Performance Co-ordinator Chris Quine said: ‘We’re excited to be starting another year of the academy and to welcoming more than 60 aspiring sports stars onto the programme. The last class was really successful with some of our students now looking to move onto the Isle of Man Sport Aid programme.
‘It’s an incredibly exciting time for sport on the Island and we have such a high standard of athletes coming through the ranks. The academy aims to equip these young people in their future sporting careers and the lessons they learn here will be invaluable for their future success.’
Mark Denton, Managing Director of SMP Partners, added: ‘We’re absolutely delighted with the success we’ve seen over the last two academic years of the programme, and what a delight it was to see our young athletes representing the Island internationally.
‘SMP Partners takes its responsibility to supporting the local community very seriously so being able to see the positive impact on students and how it will support their future careers is very rewarding.’
Mark Reynolds, a Director at Newfield, concluded: ‘We’re pleased to be continuing our support for the academy. It’s a privilege to be able to witness the contribution the programme will make to the new intake’s sporting careers, whilst covering aspects which will allow them to also flourish in future careers.
‘The curriculum for the next eight workshops looks very exciting and there is a really high level of speakers planned which will be truly inspirational for the young athletes.’