Home News Athletics NI launch Youth Academy Programme 2010-2011

Athletics NI launch Youth Academy Programme 2010-2011


from Athletics Northern Ireland Athletics Northern Ireland launched their Youth Academy (YA) Programme for 2010-2011 season on Monday 15th November at the Mary Peters Track.
The evening was a chance to welcome 10 new athletes and their personal coaches onto the programme and congratulate the 18 remaining athletes and their coaches who hit their set performance targets and so retained their place on the Academy for a second year.

Elaine McCaffrey, Athletics NI Talent Development Coach and Youth Academy (YA) Lead Organiser gave a review of the first year of the programme which saw YA Athletes win 36 medals at the Ulster Schools Track & Field Championships of which 20 of these medals were Gold. 14 YA Athletes made the Northern Ireland UK School Games Team in Gateshead and two of the Medallists from the team were YA Athletes.

One YA Athlete, Katie Kirk (coached by Mark Kirk) made the Northern Ireland Senior Commonwealth Games Team and travelled to Delhi were she competed in the individual 400m and 4x400m relay, a great achievement at the tender age of 16. She also managed to win every age group championships in the UK and Ireland both indoors and outdoors showing consistency and strong character to maintain that level of performance for the whole year.

Other successes of the year included the Youth Academy Strength and Conditioning Workshops which aimed to give the coaches the confidence to start to implement basic physical preparation with their YA Athletes. These workshops were greatly received and so the programme will include a series of other workshops to develop other areas of need as well as a follow up to the Strength and Conditioning.

Wendy Phillips coach to Anna McIlmoyle who was one of the new athletes to make the YA programme this year took the opportunity to thank Athletics Northern Ireland for giving both the Athletes and the Coaches the chance to be involved in the programme and assisting them in what they are trying to achieve.

The evening was a success with all athletes, coaches and staff leaving with an optimistic view of the year ahead and the motivation to get down to some hard training.

Elaine McCaffrey was also optimistic saying:
“I am very excited about kick starting the second year of the Youth Academy Programme. Yet again we have an extremely strong group of athletes and coaches that I am thrilled to be working with.

The first year was a success with the majority of the athletes achieving their goals for last season and one athlete even made the Commonwealth Games Team in Delhi! However it was also a learning curve which has lead to some new development in the programme which will hopefully maximise the success of these athlete and coaches in the forth coming season.”