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Posted: November 4, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Triathlon: British Triathlon Joins Forces with Dame Kelly Holmes to 'Back Young Talent'

As the countdown to 2012 began in earnest last week with only 1000 days to go until the start of London 2012, 60 talented young athletes including British Triathlon's Olympic Talent Squad took part in a two-day event led by Double Olympic Champion Dame Kelly Holmes.

Dame Kelly Holmes, who is chair of her charity the DKH Legacy Trust, was hosting the two-day event in Manchester as part of the BT Backing Talent initiative. The programme gave 'up and coming' stars of the future the chance to find out what it takes to succeed in elite sport.

The British Triathlon Olympic Talent Squad funded by UK Sport and Sport England attended the event in Manchester, taking part in a series of challenging workshops and practical activities including how to attract sponsorship, dealing with the media and learning effective training techniques required to make it to the top.

Elinor Thorogood, a member of the British Triathlon Olympic Talent Squad said, "Something I really struggle with when I compete is my confidence. After speaking to Dame Kelly today and learning about different ways to both physically and mentally approach triathlon I'm sure that I will became a better athlete"

As well as Dame Kelly, the young people were also working with other Commonwealth, Olympic and Paralympic Medallists like Sarah Stevenson Olympic Bronze Medallist (Taekwondo ) Beijing, Bryan Steele, Olympic Silver Medallist (Cycling) and current members of the England Rugby League Team . All of these top athletes in their field worked with the young sporting talent helping them to understand what it really takes to become a world class performer.

Simon Mills, Performance Development Manager for British Triathlon said: "It was fantastic to have the opportunity to work with the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust at the BT Backing Talent event in Manchester this week.

"Our young performers, members of the British Triathlon Olympic Talent Squad, enjoyed working with the team of world class performers who helped them understand what it takes to reach the top in elite sport".

Dame Kelly Holmes said: "Never mind Britain's Got Talent, last week it was Manchester's got Talent! There are so many promising young performers in this region and it is fantastic to be able, through the BT Backing Talent programme, with other elite sports performers, to pass on our skills and experience to the up and coming stars of the future like Elinor and the rest of the Young Olympic hopefuls from British Triathlon Federation."

About The Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust: The DKH Legacy Trust inspires young people to find and fulfil their potential in sport or in life through a workforce of elite sports performers. The Trust supports young people to participate, stay in and excel in sport and helps disadvantaged young people to find and believe in their own talents.

For more information please visit:

British Triathlon Federation
British Triathlon Federation is the National Governing Body for Triathlon, Duathlon and Aquathlon in Great Britain, responsible for leading growth and performance of the sport and overarching British matters including relationships with the International Federation, the International Triathlon Union (ITU). Triathlon is a sport that is inclusive, empowering and life changing. A dynamic, attractive and exciting sport from youth to senior and Olympic level. Triathlon also provides opportunities for Paratriathletes and Age Group participation. British Triathlon aims to promote excellence in our sport, and create opportunities for everyone to achieve their personal triathlon challenges. For more information visit:

Elite sports performers who attended

  • Bryan Steel -- Cycling (Track) - an impressive collection of medals including four World Championship silvers, a World Championship bronze, a Commonwealth Games Silver, an Olympic Bronze and an Olympic Silver in the Team Pursuit.
  • Sarah Stevenson -- Taekwondo - Stevenson finished fourth on her Olympics debut in 2000 and in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she went on to win a Bronze medal, the first British medalist at the Olympics in this sport.
  • Toby Garbett -- Rowing - Twice a World champion, Toby has returned to the GB rowing squad after taking a year off following the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, where he finished seventh in the men's pair
  • Anna Hemmings -- Kayaking - Britain's leading female marathon canoeist, a two time Olympian and 6 times World Champion.
  • Jayant Mistry - Wheelchair Tennis - During his 20 year career he played in approximately 250 singles and doubles finals, claiming 68 international titles (20 singles and 48 doubles titles) on the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, with his most famous being the 2005 Wheelchair Men's Doubles Championship at Wimbledon in 2005.
  • Hugh Styles -- Sailing - Hugh is an Olympic Tornado sailing and Volvo Extreme 40 sailor and F18 Catamaran sailor. Hugh came a strong 6th at 2000 Sydney Olympics, but came 2nd in his campaign for Athens.
  • Rachel Mackenzie - Thai Boxing - In 2006 Rachael topped the Women's Thai-Boxing World Rankings in two weight categories, 50kg and 52kg. On the way to achieving this dream Rachael took two British Titles, both by Knock-Out and a European Title. She also became the first European Woman to compete in traditional bare-knuckle Thai-boxing in Thailand
  • Sarah Winckless -- Rowing - An Olympic bronze medallist in Athens and member of the gold medal winning women's quad at the World Championships in 2005 and 2006
  • Francesca Jus-Burke -- Rowing - In 2005, she was in the first British Women's Quadruple scull to medal at a Junior Championship. She competed in numerous high-profile regattas, including taking gold at Amsterdam International Regatta in 2006
  • Billy Wingrove - Freestyle Football - After working as a football coach for the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and other coaching schools, Billy began working as a "professional" football freestyler after reaching the semi finals of the Nike Freestyle Competition in London.
  • Katie Cannon -- Gymnastics - During her career she was British Aerobics Gymnastics champion five times and represented Great Britain at two World Championships and two European Championships. Her best international ranking was 9th in Europe and 15th in the World.
  • Mel Clewlow -- Hockey - . In addition to playing for GB at the Sydney and Beijing Olympics, Mel appeared at three World Cups, two Champions Trophy, four European Cups, three Champions Challenge, and two Commonwealth Games. During these tournaments she picked up three Bronze Medals in the European Cup, two Silvers at the Commonwealth Games
  • Sam Coombes -- Athletics -- Sam decided to pursue a career in middle-distance athletics. As a junior he was ranked No.1 in the National Junior League. Sam is now competing again and training with an elite squad of middle distance athletes at Loughborough University aiming to reach the London 2012 Olympics.
  • Bill Lucas -- Rowing - represented GB at the Junior World Rowing Championships where he finished 5th. In 2007 was selected for the World U23 Championships winning a bronze medal.
  • Richard Parks -- RFU - Richard is a former Wales international rugby union player. A back row forward, he most recently played for Newport Gwent Dragons.

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