11 Mar 13

Olympian puts Newham Students through their paces

Students from Newham had the chance to train with an Olympian - and take on EDF Energy’s Director of HR on the track - as part of their preparations for the final of the EDF Energy Indoor Athletics Challenge.

The group of youngsters from Newham College worked with former Olympic athlete Donna Fraser, and were joined by HR Director Tim Boylin, in a special training session on the outdoor track at Newham Leisure Centre.

Supported by EDF Energy, they have been working in recent months with professional coaches to hone their performance and prove their commitment across five track and field events – long jump, shot put, 60m, 800m and 4x200m relay.

Next week (Thurs Mar 21) six colleges and schools go head to head for the EDF Energy Indoor Athletics Challenge Final at Lee Valley Indoor Athletics Centre (1.30-4pm media invited – detailed timings below).

They are Leyton Sixth Form College, Newham College, NewVic Sixth Form College, Barking and Dagenham College, Hackney Community College, and Sir John Cass’s Foundation Redcoat School in Stepney, Tower Hamlets.

The challenge and support to schools is being provided by ED Energy as part of the energy company’s commitment to helping achieve a successful legacy to the Games for young people in London.

Former 400m specialist Donna Fraser, who works at EDF Energy, competed at the Sydney Olympics, is a former British 400m champion and medallist at European and World Championships and Commonwealth Games. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donna_Fraser

She said: “The students were brilliant and there is some great talent amongst them. You can see just how they’ve come on since we launched the challenge. All the colleges and sixth forms have been putting in the hard work and now we’re really looking forward to a special day at the final.”

Working with the Team Falola Trust, youngsters identified by their teachers as having good potential in athletics have been receiving top class coaching to improve their commitment and performance, and through that process, develop valuable life skills and also explore career opportunities within the energy industry.

Tim Boylin, EDF Energy’s HR Director, added: “I took to the track but was no match for the students! They can be proud of how far they’ve come in such a short time and I’m sure they’ll step up another notch for the final. Sport is central to the EDF Energy Indoor Athletics Challenge, but we’re hoping that everyone taking part is inspired by what they can achieve, and take that positive attitude into their wider lives and future careers.”

Each college enters a team of 10 for the final. The overall winner and other awards made will be based on performances at the final, but also on points scored throughout the challenge in areas including discipline, commitment and punctuality.

Team Falola Trust promotes athletics through grassroots programmes, education and corporate partners. Educational programmes aim to attract youngsters to the sport through inspiring and motivational means. The trust also supports up and coming athletes.

Name: Abdulkadir Abdi Ali

School: Newham College

Gender: Male

Age: 18

Course: Sports Science

What do you think of the EDF Energy Indoor Athletics Challenge?

The Athletics Challenge is a brilliant initiative by EDF Energy to keep the London 2012 Olympic legacy alive and it’s great that I have the opportunity of being trained by UK Athletics qualified coaches.

You have been training since December 2012, how have you found the training?

The training is going really well. The fitness regime by the coach is fun but challenging. I have been training for the 4x4 100m relay and 800m and came 2nd in both today. My focus is to improve my personal best and come first at the finals. Also through the training, I have become fitter and improved my general well-being. I wish more of my school mates could be part of the training programme.

As a sports science student, the training I am receiving through the Challenge has improved my fitness level, made me more focused on my studies. I really want to develop further in the 800metres.

What do you hope to achieve after the final?

I would like to qualify as a fitness instructor and help individuals especially from Somali backgrounds to improve their well being and be fitter.

Name: Alicja Kulawiak

School: Newham College

Gender: Female

Age: 17

Course: Sports Science

What do you think of the EDF Energy Indoor Athletics Challenge?

The Athletics Challenge is an amazing idea and I would like to thank EDF Energy for the opportunity.

You have been training since December 2012, how have you found the training?

The coach is really good and through his support and advice, I have achieved a fitness level that I never thought I could reach. Aside from getting fit, my training programme has challenged me to stretch myself and I have also improved on team working and staying focused. The training has also helped me improve my grades. The programme is one that will help me reach my future goals.

What do you hope to achieve after the final?

Since I joined the programme, I have been training on being a sprinter – 100m and 200m. I hope to continue training after the final and also give back to the community by helping people become fitter.

Final. Thursday March 21, Lee Valley Athletics Centre

2.10pm Welcome

2.25-40pm Career talks

2.40-55pm Special Guest (to be announced) athlete – talks to the competitors

2.55-3.05pm Long Jump

3.05-20pm 60m heats

3.20-25pm Shot putt

3.25-3.35pm 800m final

3.35-3.40pm 60m final

3.40-3.50pm 4X200m relay

3.50pm Presentation - awards