carnegieXchange: School of Sport

Academics and students help Tom's bid for Olympic glory

A team of Carnegie School of Sport academics and students are ensuring that champion racewalker Tom Bosworth has the best preparation possible ahead of this year’s Olympics. 

Tom Bosworth with Chloe Caygill

Tom, a Carnegie School of Sport graduate, is being put through his paces at the state-of-the-art Carnegie School of Sport building after qualifying for the games in March. 

Through the school, he is receiving expert guidance on all areas of athletic preparation, from nutrition to biomechanics, as he looks to better his sixth-place finish in the 20km walk at Rio 2016. 

Earlier in April, he completed a week of gruelling sessions in the School’s new environmental chambers to prepare for the hot and humid conditions expected to meet him at the starting line in Tokyo this summer. 

Tom is coached by Dr Andi Drake, who manages the Leeds Talent Hub that helps support the next generation of talented athletes. Based at Leeds Beckett University, the hub is part of the British Athletics performance pathway, delivered by England Athletics with stakeholders London Marathon and the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS), supporting 31 athletes and their coaches.

Dr Drake said: “What we can do at the Carnegie School of Sport is simulate the 30 degrees Celsius heat and 80% humidity we’ll get in Tokyo. 

“The training at the minute is tough and fatiguing but allowing Tom’s body to acclimatise and get those physical adaptations now will be a big advantage when we’re at the games.”

Image of Tom Bosworth with Chloe Caygill

Tom with MSc Sport & Exercise Science student Chloe Caygill

Established in 2019, the Leeds Talent Hub gives athletes the opportunity to tap into the facilities and expertise available at the Carnegie School of Sport, while giving students and staff the opportunity to work closely with elite talent. 

"The Talent Hub and Athletics programme is a real partnership with the university.” Dr Drake added.

“We’ve got Dan Snape, a PhD student helping support us in the Environmental Chamber. Chloe Caygill, a Postgraduate student who is on our Intern Programme is supporting us as well.

“Dr Andrew Manley works closely with us in terms of sport psychology, Dr Brian Hanley is helping us with biomechanics and Cara Sloss is advising on sports nutrition.”

You can find out more about the new Carnegie School of Sport building here.