A visit and inspirational talk from Team Scotland’s Guy Learmonth helped welcome a new intake of athletes into the Hydrasun Athletics Academy in Aberdeen.
Hydrasun, a leading specialist provider of integrated fluid transfer, power and control solutions to the global energy market, is the major sponsor of the Hydrasun Athletics Academy, an initiative which has supported several athletes including 19-year-old sprinter Zoey Clark.
In October 2010, the Hydrasun Athletics Academy was established to provide a fully integrated and coordinated training pathway through an approved level of free sports services for young athletes, aged 15 to 23, and their coaches, to enable them to reach their goals in athletics.
It is managed by Eddie McKenna on behalf of Hydrasun, Aberdeen Sports Village (ASV) and The University of Aberdeen.
The eight new athletes join 17 current members already in the Academy and 10 associate member athletes who continue to benefit from the support of the Academy.
Guy Learmonth delivered a fine motivating presentation sharing his journey so far, his achievements and the highs and lows of life as an athlete, before engaging the young athletes in a Q and A session and training routines.
‘It’s great to see initiatives such as the Hydrasun Athletics Academy – sport has always given me a focus in life and the Academy provides individuals with the vast opportunities that sport and athletics can offer both on and off the track,’ said Guy.
‘It is essential to use these academies to develop young sporting talent, especially with the Commonwealth Games on the horizon – so many young people are hopefully going to be getting more involved in sport and be inspired by what they see in Glasgow so these academies are not just about developing but also about nurturing talent.
‘My best advice to the athletes would be to work hard, be patient, as success does not come overnight. And believe in yourself, your abilities and your coach.’
The event, held at Aberdeen University followed by a training session at ASV, was also attended by Aberdeen University Principal Professor Sir Ian Diamond, local councillors and Stephen Maguire, Director of Coaching at scottishathletics.
‘For an athlete to properly develop and achieve his or her full potential, it is essential for there to be support from a number of directions,’ said Stephen.
‘I think it’s fantastic that this initiative brings together the coaches, ASV and Hydrasun in order to support and nurture the high standard of athletes that the Athletics Academy produces.’
Hydrasun Chief Executive, Bob Drummond, said: ‘At Hydrasun we feel passionately about our commitment to the communities in which we work, and we are actively involved in initiatives which help to make a difference to young people’s lives.
‘The Hydrasun Athletics Academy is still unique in Scotland and the UK ñ it is the perfect opportunity to give local budding athletes access to an exceptional support network which allows them to realise their potential and excel within their chosen sport.
‘With the Glasgow Commonwealth Games this year and the Rio Olympics in 2016, this is the ideal time to support our future athletic stars and enable them to reach their full potential.
‘Having Guy as the guest speaker was excellent for allowing our new and current young athletes to hear first-hand what they need to do to achieve their goals.’
Programme manager, Eddie McKenna, said: ‘The HAA was unique in Scotland when it was set up four years ago. It remains the same today, growing from 15 athletes in 2010 to 35 now – the support they receive remains unparalleled in Scotland and the UK.’
The scottishathletics facebook page has some photos of the new Hydrasun intake.