Last Saturday saw the final cohort of Welsh athletes leave the Centre d’Alt Rendiment in Sant Cugat, Barcelona, where Welsh Athletics had been based for the previous two and half weeks. 26 Welsh athletes were fully or partially supported for the camp, with a further four Welsh athletes funding themselves to attend the camp before an important 2017 track and field season. The athletes were supported by nine Welsh Athletics staff, five Sport Wales practitioners and eight personal coaches, who spent between 4 and 14 nights on what will be remembered as a hugely positive camp for all who attended.
Athletes were provided with all they required to make the most from their training, with the accommodation and dining hall just a stone’s throw from the track and throws area, and several weights rooms, a recovery centre and pool on site. Athletes were supported in their training by physiotherapists; Liba Sheeran and Adam Rattenberry, alongside support from Sport Wales practitioners specialising in; sports psychology, physiology, strength and conditioning and performance analysis.
As well as day-to-day training, the camp was a great environment for staff and athletes to come together for a number of workshops including; 2018 Gold Coast Planning and Preparation, Peaking for a Major Games in April, and Psychological Preparation of Athletes for Post-Championships. It was also an excellent setting for athletes from different disciplines to bond as a team, creating a positive and focused atmosphere which will be important to take through to the preparation camp in the run up to the Gold Coast in 2018.
Bethan Davies, Britain’s no. 1 race walker, commented that she had thoroughly enjoyed every element of the camp, buoyed by the “fun, friendly, family mood” of her two weeks spent with fellow Welsh athletes.
Tom Marshall, who jumped off the plane on Saturday to go on and win the 5k Welsh Championships in Whitchurch on Sunday night, said that he had had the best preparation for a track season he could ask for, and will be looking to carry the momentum from the training camp into qualifying for the 1500m at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Welsh Athletics would like to thank all the Sport Wales staff and personal coaches who assisted with the success of the camp. We look forward to a successful season ahead!