Talented young athletes get expert sport science coaching

LJMU’s School of Sport and Exercise Sciences is piloting a unique programme to support talented young athletes in schools and colleges across Merseyside

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The Academy+ Programme offers youngsters the chance to visit the LJMU campus where they are offered coaching and guidance from world-leading sport and exercise scientists.

Already pupils from Bridgewater High School in Warrington have had the opportunity to meet the experts on campus. Just this week the pupils experienced LJMU’s state-of-the-art biomechanics labs where athletes are put through their paces to improve their performance.

Rising stars in a range of disciplines, from mountain biking to ballet, have also taken part in physiological testing, sports science education sessions and talks from current Sport Scholars.

Mr Paul McKay, a teacher at Bridgewater High School, said: “The programme is the first step in students realising their true potential in sport and that there is support for them right the way through school on to university. The LJMU workshops have already made a huge difference to the athletes and their vision for the future.”

LJMU has a strong track record when it comes to performance sport and supporting budding athletes’ dual ambitions to gain academic qualifications while pursuing their ambitions to compete at elite level.

From current Women’s FA Cup and Super League champion Niamh Charles to Team GB Olympic pole vaulter Harry Coppell, a whole host of LJMU alumni can attribute their sporting success in part to the support received as Sport Scholars.    

Dave McDermott, LJMU’s Head of Elite Sport and Athlete Management, said: “The Academy+ Programme is a great opportunity for LJMU to deliver a fun, vibrant, sport science athlete experience, which gives the young students an insight into the level of support services available as a prospective LJMU Sport Scholar.”

Beyond visiting the world-class facilities at LJMU, the scheme aims to support teachers, parents, carers and pupils with online meetings, events within school settings and specialist careers advice as they decide on next steps for their studies.

Year 9 pupil, Eva, said: “I’ve found it to be a totally unique experience. So far, I’ve been given knowledge and insights into my sport and have been helped by a variety of impressive professionals. I’m really glad to be a part of Academy+ and look forward to continuing my sport with their support.”

Find out more about the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences and its specialist Performance Sport opportunities and training programmes.  


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