Sunday, February 03, 2008

Training with Kelly Holmes

Last September my 8 year old daughter joined Ribble Valley Athletics Club, inspired by a week of free athletics activities over the summer holidays.

The club is particularly strong in middle distance running, with the head coach Don having previously been a middle distance runner.

His daughter Leigh, only sixteen, a few weeks ago won gold in both 400 and 800 metre events at the north of England under 20s championships. As a result of that she has been selected to represent England at U20 level. On top of that she has now been given a place on a training camp with Kelly Holmes.

My little girl has been so inspired by all this - she trains twice a week, in all weathers, indoors, on the outdoor track, and cross-country. Last week she dragged me out for a 2km run in the snow. What I think is great about her joining the club is not whether she wins anything or not, but the fabulous supportive atmosphere at the club, where you will find 13,14,15 year old kids looking out for all the younger ones, 16,17,18 year olds coaching younger athletes, and a great turn out from club members to support their team mates even when they are not taking part in an event.

A few weeks ago my daughter took part in an indoor sports hall games event, setting 3 personal bests and scoring points for the club. She was so chuffed!

If you live in the Ribble Valley/Blackburn area, and you've got kids who like sport, get them along to RVAC. Just turn up on a Monday, 6pm at Witton Park, Blackburn, or Oakhill Academy, Whalley, on Wednesdays at 7pm. Just look out for the large group of polite, healthy looking kids and introduce yourself.