Athlete Performance Academy supports athletes on and off the track

The Athlete Performance Academy at Hartpury has provided specialist support to track and field athletes to help maintain their health and fitness while sports facilities were closed due to Covid-19.

With sports facilities closed and social distancing rules in place, coaches from the Athlete Performance Academy provided students with remote training plans, dietary advice and motivational talks to enhance their physical and mental wellbeing.  

The first track and field student athlete to return to competition, Ellie Wheeler-Smith, who is studying a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport and Exercise Sciences, finished as the fastest female athlete over 100 metres in a pilot event at Yate Athletics Club.  

“When lockdown was introduced, we compiled a comprehensive remote training plan to help our students maintain their health and fitness while sports facilities were closed and they didn’t have usual access to their coaching teams,” said Justin Smith, lead performance analyst at Hartpury.

“We’ve met over Zoom to discuss their achievements and progress in training, which helped to keep students feeling positive, motivated and focused for when lockdown measures were eventually eased and competition returned.”

The Athlete Performance Academy – one of 10 sports academies at Hartpury – provides students with access to an extensive range of dedicated services, including strength and conditioning, physiotherapy, nutrition, sports psychology and lifestyle management,  that have helped students to perform at the highest levels in athletics, swimming, skiing, Olympic weightlifting and sailing. 

Hartpury’s new £8.8m Sports Academy includes a biomechanics laboratory, a rehabilitation suite featuring an anti-gravity treadmill, and a human performance laboratory with an altitude chamber, and a sports hall.


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