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Olympians spearhead pioneering academies at Loughborough College

Olympic sprinter Martyn Rooney

Olympic sprinter @MartynRooney is among elite athletes who will deliver unique athletics and triathlon academies to nurture the next generation of track and field stars at Loughborough College.

Martyn, who works as an elite sport assessor at the College, and former Olympic marathon runner Matt O’Dowd, will co-ordinate the College’s new Athletics Academy which aims to unlock the academic and physical potential of talented young athletes.

At the same time the College has employed leading triathlete Jack Hall to spearhead a special Triathlon Academy, with students able to develop their talent at the College’s special training centres in both Loughborough and Mallorca.

Both academies will provide a specially designed curriculum that balances academic study with physical training and talent development for students aged 16-18, but with the option to stay on into higher education on a special five-year pathway.

Martyn, who competed in the 400m final and won a bronze medal in the 4 x 400m relay at the 2008 Olympics, said:

“We’re extremely excited to launch our Athletics Academy. We’re looking to take athletes aged 16-18 to the next level with our elite coaching, world-class facilities and access to the awesome Loughborough Students’ Athletics Club. Our mission is to provide a dedicated athletics springboard for talented young people to achieve their potential both on and off the track and field.”

Matt, who represented Team GB in the 2004 Olympics heads up the College’s entire elite sport provision, said:

“One of the unique elements of our Academy approach is that it connects our FE and HE provision together to create a five-year pathway. It means that you could join us at GCSE level and potentially leave with a degree. Our programme will ensure that our students will get the best possible mix of academic learning and sporting development.”

Jack, who has competed in Triathlon at European level, said:

“Our Triathlon Academy offers a unique experience. Not only do we have the incredible Charnwood countryside for training, we also have our centre of excellence in Mallorca which specialises in helping triathletes develop to world level.”

As well as an expertly designed curriculum, students will get access to a host of world class facilities and environments which will challenge and stretch their mental and physical capabilities.

These include access to state-of-the-art training facilities at Loughborough University and the College, sports psychologists, strength conditioning experts and nutritional specialists.

The Triathlon Academy will also work in partnership with the Loughborough Student Foundation, Loughborough Grammar School and the BEST Centre in Mallorca.

Jo Maher, Principal & CEO of Loughborough College, said:

“We’re very proud of Loughborough College’s sporting heritage and are extremely excited to launch our new academies which will take our provision to the next level.

“We’re so fortunate that people like Martyn, Matt and Jack work for the College and can provide unprecedented insight and mentorship to up and coming athletes. It’s been said that we are a talent factory for elite sportspeople and our ambition is that our new academies help us cement that reputation.”

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