BSS & SSE Athlete Pathway Programme Gets Underway

The Snowsport England Alpine Squads in conjunction with the BSS Development Group launched its first athlete development programme in Manchester. Over 60 athletes, from the age of 13 to 21 attended the two days of fitness tests, Skills Quest and development skills courses. … 

The programme is built around six daysover three weekends with a minimum of four days to complete squad inclusion. ACE fitness tests and the skiing Skills Quest test were taken by all athletes. The athletes will be measured each time they attend and the coaches will be looking for progress at each stage.

There were also separate classroom modules on the following three subjects: The Athlete Pathway – debunking the myths of alpine ski racing; Nutrition for Athletes– what to eat for peak performance; and Athletic Ability – how to be the best of yourself as a developing athlete and how to avoid key injuries. The sessions were delivered to all athletes by Tony Willis, Chair of BSS Alpine Business Group; Kate Percy, Nutritionist and Author; and Tom Batchelor from Harlequins RFC.

The classroom programme is designed around educating athletes and parents on how to progress through the pathway by getting the best advice and building a knowledge bank to progress as elite athletes. The Skills Quest was run by Jo Ryding, SSE alpine talent squad manager.

The weekend was held at Sugden Sport Centre where Nick Jones, S&C coach of Manchester University elite athlete programme, coordinated the ACE tests, and then followed with a day at SSE’s talent partner at Chill Factor e.

Tony Willis of BSS Alpine Business Group commented: “Based on feedback from athletes and parents after this initial weekend we have made significant steps to building a more informed community. Working closely with Snowsport England and the other Home Nations to deliver this pathway will help BSS develop and identify a talent pathway for the years ahead. We have started something exciting and we need to keep this momentum going.”

Jeremy Eaton Chair SSE added: “Working with BSS to create a clear and defined pathway is a shift in a positive direction for athletes and for the sport. We were delighted the weekend was so well received by all who attended. This was a great start. We were especially delighted that European-based GB athletes from Italy and Switzerland attended the weekend.”

Following the initial ACE tests, all athletes who attended the weekend will be informed of their results and successful athletes will be announced shortly, with a further group expected to be announced following the second weekend in early September.