5 Mar 13

Students stay focused as EDF Energy Athletics Challenge final looms

Media are invited to send their most sport-minded ‘representatives’ to compete against a select group of Newham College students at 10am on Thursday March 7, and find out how the EDF Energy Athletics Challenge is impacting on their sporting development, life skills and approach to study.

Athletes from schools and colleges in London are in the final weeks of preparation ahead of the EDF Energy Athletics Challenge Final at Lee Valley Indoor Athletics Centre on Thursday March 21.

Professional athletic coaches have been working with 16-18 year olds from Leyton and Newham Sixth Form Colleges, Barking and Dagenham College, Hackney Community College, Sir John Cass’s Foundation and Redcoat School in Stepney, Tower Hamlets, in recent months, helping them to hone their performance and prove their commitment across five track and field events – long jump, javelin, 60m and 800m track events and 4x200m relay.

The challenge is being run with the Team Falola Trust, giving youngsters the chance to receive top class coaching and compete as well as develop life skills and explore career opportunities within the energy industry.

At 10am on Thursday, EDF Energy’s Director of HR, Tim Boylin, and former TeamGB athlete and Olympian Donna Fraser, who works for the energy company, will join the youngsters at a training session at Newham Leisure Centre (E13 8SD). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donna_Fraser

Tim said: “The EDF Energy Athletics Challenge is all about using the inspiration of last summer’s Games and throwing down a huge challenge to young people. We know they’ve got the talent but have they got the commitment and desire to work day in day out, come to every training session over the winter, focus on their targets, improve their nutrition and come together as a team to compete? Through that dedication to sport, we hope that they will also gain invaluable life skills and we’re also making sure they get the chance to learn about career opportunities in the energy industry too.”

Each college will enter a team of 10 for the culmination of the challenge at the Lee Valley Indoor Athletics Centre event later this month. The overall winner and other awards made will be based on performances at the event, but also on points scored throughout the challenge in areas including discipline and punctuality.

Ayo Falola, Director of Team Falola Trust, said: “We're delighted to be working with EDF Energy on this exciting challenge. Our coaches have been working hard with the students to help them fulfil their potential, increase their confidence and help them realise dreams. At the same time we have been promoting athletics alongside a long term supporter of sport in EDF Energy.”

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.

The project builds on the work EDF Energy has been doing in London through its three-year Legacy Champions community project with a dozen schools and colleges, and the EDF Rowing Community Challenge, which saw youngsters work with London Youth Rowing, Olympians and Paralympians before competing at the London 2012 Eton Dorney venue last year.

The energy company is also working with Cheltenham Science Festival’s Famelab Academy, to excite young people about STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths – across Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Barking & Dagenham, Greenwich, Waltham Forest and Newham.