Young talent is being identified

PUBLISHED: 09:32 23 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:14 06 May 2010

Lisa Wooding with, left to right: Ashley Franklin, Andrew Curtin and Adam Edwards

Lisa Wooding with, left to right: Ashley Franklin, Andrew Curtin and Adam Edwards

Three of the 10 talented youngsters selected for the Hertfordshire Elite Athlete Support Programme come from Letchworth Garden City. The trio of local boys are basketball player Adam Edwards (Essex and Herts Leopards), swimmer Andrew Curtin (Hatfield Swim

Three of the 10 talented youngsters selected for the Hertfordshire Elite Athlete Support Programme come from Letchworth Garden City.

The trio of local boys are basketball player Adam Edwards (Essex and Herts Leopards), swimmer Andrew Curtin (Hatfield Swim Club) and diver Ashley Franklin (Beaumont Diving Academy, Hatfield).

The seven others are Libby Sherriff, Helena Lewczynska, Emily Westwood, Megan Williams, Katie Ambridge, Philippa Ninnes and Lauren Davey.

All the athletes are aged between 14 and 17 and have either been selected to represent England, are part of a national development squad or have competed in national competitions.

They represent badminton, swimming, diving, girls' rugby, basketball, hockey and girls' football.

Each athlete will receive individual nutrition consultations, physiotherapy assessments, individual and small group training sessions with a strength and conditioning coach and performance lifestyle advice.

These support services are all free of charge for the athletes.

The programme has a value of around £800 per athlete. It is a joint venture between the Herts Sports Partnership at the University of Hertfordshire and Lee Valley Regional Park Authority.

All training sessions will take place at the £15m state-of-the-art Herts Sports Village.

The programme was officially launched by Lisa Wooding (hockey bronze medallist in this year's Commonwealth Games in Melbourne) on Monday night.

Following the launch, the athletes were given advice by Dawn Airton, athlete support manager for the English Institute of Sport and a former England rugby player, and Wooding herself.

The English Institute of Sport fully endorse the programme and have been supportive of the scheme.

Airton said: "It's great to see a programme that will support athletes on their pathway to world class success.

"This programme fully embraces the principles of the EIS by providing talented athletes in Hertfordshire with sports science services that aims to make a difference to their performance."

Fiona Castree from the Herts Sports Partnership added: "This is a fantastic opportunity for these athletes to receive top class support services to help them reach their full potential in their chosen sport.

"We are very fortunate to have been able to form a partnership with the University of Hertfordshire and Lee Valley Regional Park Authority to set up this new programme."

And Nick Brooking, director of sport at the University of Hertfordshire, said: "We are delighted to be able to contribute expertise to this programme which provides a valuable first step for these genuinely talented young people towards the national level programmes and schemes that are also run here.

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