Woodford Green with Essex Ladies athletes Tara Bird and Linzi Snow recently
attended an Aviva sponsored training day hosted by their mentor Dame Kelly
Holmes in her home town of Tonbridge. The girls have both been part of Holmes'
successful 'On Camp with Kelly' mentoring initiative, supported by Aviva, since
2006. 'On Camp with Kelly' aims to help the next generation of British middle
distance athletes to achieve their potential.
The get-together took place on Monday 22 December at the excellent sports
facilities at Tonbridge School. The day was an important opportunity for the
girls to catch up with Kelly herself, review their 2008 season and lay out
their plans for the coming 2009 year with the help of their mentor. They
carried out a tough training session on the grass fields at the school, took
part in media training and attended physio and massage appointments. They also
took part in a medical workshop with UK Athletics Medical Director Dr Paul
Dijkstra who was part of Kelly's support team during her athletics career.
Tara enjoyed a successful 2008 season on the track, lowering her 800m personal
best substantially to 2:03.56 and placing fifth at the Aviva National
Championships. Tara said: "It is always great to attend the get-togethers and
I take away something new every time. Each get-together Kelly gives a new
lesson in what it takes to be a world class athlete. I hope 2009 sees me lower
my 800m best further and win a medal at the European Under 23 Championships"
Linzi has recently relocated to America after winning a sports scholarship at
the prestigious Florida State University on the merit of her great performances
in the past few years. She was pleased to be able to attend the get-together
which took place during her return home for the Christmas period. Linzi said:
"I love coming to these days, it's great to see Kelly and the girls, especially
as I am now living in the US. I want to achieve a big personal best in 2009,
to run well at the National Collegiate Championships in the States and go to
the European Under 23 Championships."
Kelly was glad to see the two rising stars and has high hopes for them both in
2009: "I was very pleased to invite Tara and Linzi to my home town again. It
is very important for me to catch up with the girls in person on a regular
basis to see how things are going and how 'On Camp with Kelly' can assist in
their athletic careers."