Olympians inspire the next generation of North East sporting talent

Two days after firing the starting gun for the Great North Run, Olympic gold medallist Nicola Adams joined Dame Kelly, football skills extraordinaire John Whetton and Olympic Bronze medallist Alex Danson, to inspire the students at Gateshead College.
The day marked the first session of the college’s exciting partnership with Kelly Holmes Education, a programme which was announced in July. Gateshead College is the first education provider to work with Dame Kelly and her team.
The programme offers the college’s sport academy students the unique opportunity to be coached and mentored by some of the country’s top sporting talent, giving them the best possible chance of excelling in their chosen sport. Amongst the tutors are Bryan Steel, two times cycling Olympic medallist in the Team Pursuit and Darren Harris, two times Paralympian in judo (2008) and football (London 2012).  Both will support the anti doping workshop for students.
In the first day of the programme Nicola Adams ran a boxing masterclass and students were also able to take part in football masterclasses with John Whetton, one of the world’s most creative football freestyle performers.

Nicola Adams, Olympic champion said: “It was great to meet everyone at Gateshead College, they gave me a terrific reception. I love meeting new people and passing on some of my experiences, I feel so lucky to have been a part of London 2012 and to come away with a gold medal.

“The programme with Kelly Holmes Education is fantastic and the students have such amazing opportunities to learn from the very best.”

Dame Kelly Holmes said: “Since the announcement of our partnership in July, we have enjoyed an incredible summer of sport. For me this is a great way to put something back to support the next generation and inspire the students to dream big and achieve their sporting goals. Anything is possible! I'm looking forward to sharing the journey with these talented students.”

Gateshead College’s principal Richard Thorold was also at the event to see students get involved in the first day of the bespoke programme. He commented: “We’re absolutely honoured to be the first to work with Dame Kelly and her team and this programme is set to be an incredible experience for our sport students.

“Not only will they get the unique opportunity to train alongside some of the best athletes in the country and take part in a training schedule that has be specifically designed with their needs and development in mind, but they will also get the chance to speak directly so some of our sporting heroes and understand what motivates, challenges and drives them to excel in their field. 

“This is just one of the ways in which we’re adapting our curriculum to be a truly memorable and inspiring experience and more importantly, offer our students the very best chance of being successful.”
Boxing Academy student Liam Kelly, 18, a Level 3 Boxing Studies student from Consett said: “To be able to come to college and be coached by Olympic champions is absolutely amazing and something that we’ll all remember for the rest of our lives.
“We didn’t know that Nicola was coming today, so it was a huge surprise. It was great to meet someone who has done so amazing in their sport, but to also have the chance to chat to her and have her help us with our skill development was extra special.”
Over four hundred sport students will continue to enjoy a schedule of bespoke education training throughout the year which will include master classes along with physical, physiological, emotional, psychological and social training modules.