The first of two Para-Athletics Talent ID camps was held in Dunedin last weekend. The camp was a combined initiative by Paralympics New Zealand and Athletics New Zealand, held at the Caledonian Athletics Ground and HPSNZ training facility.
Eleven young, talented young athletes were at the camp, all looking to be part of the Para-Athletics Programme, building towards the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships and the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
The weekend was lead by Athletics New Zealand coach, Raylene Bates, who was supported by Brent Ward and Grant Buchanan. The athletes were also fortunate to have New Zealand Representatives, Rory McSweeney and Holly Robinson, in attendance to assist with the coaching, and share their experiences as athletes who have both been through the Talent ID Programme.
The camp included training sessions (testing, gym & core strength, technique), Rory McSweeney and Holly Robinson as guest speakers, Future of the Para-Athletics Programme and the Para-Athletics Pathway presentations and team building activities. Mark McDowall, Centre Manager of the Dunedin Artificial Limb Centre, also attended during the Sunday training session, meeting with athletes. Each athlete was also presented with a Paralympics New Zealand shirt.
The 11 athletes attending the camp:
Richard Nelson-Parker Auckland 18 T37, F37
William Stedman Christchurch 13 T37, F37 (provisional)
Caitlin Dore Christchurch 17 T37, F37
Liam Malone Christchurch 19 T43, F43
Kaelym McGrath Christchurch 17 T37, F37
Jack Woods Christchurch 17 T35, F35
Anna Grimaldi Dunedin 16 T47, F47 (provisional)
Nikita White Dunedin 18 T20, F20
Jacob Phillips Hamilton 16 T35, F35
Jono Brownjohn New Plymouth 17 T44, F44
Curtis McGrath Brisbane 25 T43, F43
The Para-Athletics Talent ID Camp now moves to Auckland this weekend. While the Dunedin Camp was focused around the next World Championships and Paralympic Games, the Auckland Camp will have a slightly different feel. With a mix of development athletes, but mostly newer athletes attending, the camp will focus more around the basics of athletics and the importance of new athletes joining their local athletics club. A total of 19 athletes will attend the Auckland Camp.