Grace’s future stars day with Olympic champion

Grace Rodgers (far right) with fellow athletes James Lamswood, Joe Lancaster and Alex Bell with Dame Kelly Holmes; submitted photo
Grace Rodgers (far right) with fellow athletes James Lamswood, Joe Lancaster and Alex Bell with Dame Kelly Holmes; submitted photo
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A TALENTED young middle distance athlete from Whitby was selected by double Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes to take part in a recent ‘Future Stars with Kelly’ Education Day at Loughborough College.

Grace Rodgers (17), who competes for Loftus and Whitby Athletics Club, attended the day with her coaches Tony and Brenda Hare and her father Ian.

Sixty five athletes, 44 coaches and 70 parents from all over the UK took part in the Education Day which aimed to educate them about the preparation needed ahead of the summer athletics season.

Grace was invited to the prestigious event as a result of winning the bronze medal in the intermediate 800m at the Aviva English Schools Championships in 2010.

She also won silver at the UK School Games last year and gold at the England Under 17 Championships.

This year, she will be aiming to reach the final at English Schools in the senior age group and to improve her personal best which currently stands at 2:10.55.

Dame Kelly said: “The Future Stars with Kelly Education Days are an excellent opportunity for me to share my knowledge and experiences with the young athletes like Grace and to help them on their journey through school, junior and onto senior athletics.

“It is great to see that Future Stars with Kelly is going from strength to strength and is having a positive effect on all those who attend.”

The athletes, coaches and parents took part in a selection of educational workshops on topics such as nutrition, media training and preparation for the season.

The athletes also took part in a physically demanding aqua-jogging session led by Dame Kelly and a session on calf and ankle strengthening exercises with Kelly’s former physiotherapist Alison Rose.

Coaches were able to attend a workshop on the Female Athlete Triad, a topic it is vitally important they understand when coaching female athletes and there were specific workshops for parents.

Grace said: “I was very pleased to be selected for Future Stars with Kelly and it helps my preparation for the track season. I really enjoyed the aqua-jogging session and it is something I would try again.”