National Development Programme Day: December 2023
Last weekend saw the gathering of 50 athletes and 12 coaches for the second session of our National Development Programme (NDP). The session marked a significant milestone as it was the first in-person session, providing a unique opportunity for athletes and coaches to come together for a day filled with enriching education workshops, both theoretical and practical in nature.
The overarching theme of the day was centred around the question 'What is Elite.' To set the tone, former world record holder Colin Jackson, delivered an impactful message that resonated with everyone present. His motivational speech set the stage for a days session.
Following Colin's inspiring talk, Welsh Athletics Sports Psychologist, Louise Jones, conducted a behavioural workshop, adding depth to the understanding of what it truly means to be elite in sports. The fusion of theoretical knowledge and psychological insights aimed to equip athletes with a holistic understanding of their athletic journey.
As the day progressed, athletes actively engaged in practical sessions focused on monitoring and strength and conditioning. The blend of theory and hands-on practical workshops aimed to reinforce the key concepts discussed earlier in the day, providing athletes with tangible tools to enhance their performance.
Reflecting on the day, Welsh Athletics Pathway Lead Rhys Williams said;
"Last weekend was a pivotal moment for our athletes and coaches. The collaboration of theory and practice, combined with the wisdom shared by Colin Jackson, has set the stage for transformative growth. We now look to our athletes to implement the valuable lessons learned in their respective environments. With 10 more NDP sessions on the horizon, we eagerly anticipate the continued development and success of each participant."
Athlete Will Bishop, who competed at last Summer Commonwealth Youth Games, was in attendance on the National Development Programme;
“The NDP sessions are a great opportunity for me as a developing athlete to improve both on and off the track. I really enjoy all aspects of the programme and the chance to train alongside athletes from all over Wales!”
Cardiff Archers coach Phil Warwicker was also in attendance with five of his athlete who are on the NDP programme and shared;
“Athletes and coaches have benefited over the past few weeks by attending the Welsh Athletics NDP sessions, gaining valuable information on Anti-Doping, Psychology and movement patterns around Olympic lifting. In addition, performance tracking the athletes, is going to aid athletes and their personal coaches in making decisions around their programmes to get the most out of their development moving forward.”
There will be multiple event specific sessions as part of the National Development Programme over the coming months, with the next all-event group session for athletes and their coaches on the 2nd of March 2024. The programme is the first tier on the Welsh Athletics Performance Pathway, further information regarding the Programme can be found here.