New project to help aspiring athletes in East Dunbartonshire

A pioneering project has hit the ground running to help aspiring athletes reach new heights in East Dunbartonshire.

The Athlete Performance Programme - which is free to athletes selected and the first of its kind in Scotland - aims to support the next generation of sporting champions.

It’s being rolled out by East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture (EDLC) Trust and the Council, in partnership with sportscotland, and is a key part of East Dunbartonshire’s 2014 Commonwealth Games Legacy Programme.

Good work has already taken place with local sporting clubs and schools to identify rising stars at regional or national level aged 14-18 who attend/attended a school within East Dunbartonshire.

The elite programme started in January with 117 athletes nominated by clubs and schools.

A total of 22 have been selected to take part and will now be given a unique sporting opportunity.

The first year will see two sites developed within East Dunbartonshire - Allander Leisure centre and Kirkintilloch Leisure Centre.

The plan in the second year is to roll the programme out to a third venue in Bishopbriggs.

Scott Hill, Chair of the EDLC Trust, said: “We are delighted to be officially launching the new Athlete Performance Programme, which aims to support the next generation of sports stars in their quest for success.

“The timing is perfect with the Commonwealth Games taking place in Glasgow this summer - shining a spotlight on the homegrown heroes going for glory.

“The new programme gives athletes, coaches and clubs the opportunity of invaluable development in their sports - providing a stepping stone to national programmes.

“It’s a huge project which will help athletes, volunteers and coaches for years to come - ensuring a fitting legacy for the Glasgow 2014 Games.”

A year-long programme has been specifically designed for each athlete in order to improve sports performance - taking into consideration their individual biomechanics.

Sessions will include: nutrition; strength and conditioning; speed and agility; flexibility; co-ordination; and evaluation for both coaches and athletes.

Selected athletes will have access to qualified staff from sportscotland and local gyms.

The programme has been designed to ensure sustainability by training and mentoring EDLC Trust staff, who will take a lead role in delivering the programme in year two and beyond - leaving an ongoing legacy after the Games.

All athletes will complete log books keeping parents and coaches up to date with progress.

In addition, as the programme develops, information evenings and workshops will be introduced to keep parents and coaches up to date, and informed of the athlete’s developments.

Councillor Alan Moir, Convener of Development and Regeneration at the council, said: “I hope this pioneering new programme helps to galvanise

Scotland’s search for sporting success.

“With the Games taking place on our doorstep this summer the programme is a great example of the type of legacy we are trying to realise - ensuring the

enthusiasm and excitement generated by Glasgow 2014 is not lost.”