Leeds Beckett University helps prepare Team GB athletes for Tokyo Games
The Carnegie School of Sport has offered its world-class facilities and expertise to athletes in preparation for the Games, including use of the School’s performance analysis suites and extreme environmental chambers.
Professor John O’Hara, Director of the Centre for Human Performance said: “The games are predicted to be the hottest in modern history. Exercising in the heat puts the body under thermoregulatory strain that impairs endurance performance and can lead to heat illness.
“To overcome this, Leeds Beckett University has been using its brand-new environmental chambers to support the athletes in their heat acclimation preparations to help them to adapt to the race conditions. This involves regular passive and active exposure to hot and humid conditions over several weeks. This heat exposure increases the body’s ability to dissipate heat and lowers the cardiovascular response associated with exercising in such conditions, thus improving performance and protecting health.”
Carnegie School of Sport has established partnerships with many organisations, and has been working with Olympians through its partnerships with British Athletics and England Athletics.
Dr Andrew Manley, Principal Lecturer in Sport & Exercise Psychology at Carnegie School of Sport, said: “We take huge pride in having established valued partnerships with high-performance sport organisations such as British Athletics, which enable us to play a privileged part in supporting these talented people to achieve great things.
“These partnerships adopt an integrative and inclusive approach to sport science support in that the access to world-class facilities and expertise afforded to high-performance coaches and athletes is complemented by the provision of unique professional development opportunities to our students, early-career practitioners, and emerging student-athletes.”
The partnerships have helped form the Leeds Beckett University Athletics Talent Hub, a collaboration between British Athletics, England Athletics, London Marathon Events and the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS).
The Talent Hub aims to provide a high-quality performance development environment for its athletes, and their coaches, and establish a dual-career pathway built around an education and learning programme. Current Talent Hub athletes include Team GB’s Keely Hodgkinson, Lizzie Bird, Tom Bosworth and Leeds-born Alex Bell.
Leeds Beckett University Talent Hub Manager Dr Andrew Drake, who will be part of Team GB’s Marathon and Race Walking coaching staff said:
“Our Olympians are great role models for our other Talent Hub athletes who have aspirations of their own to represent Great Britain in future major championships.”
“It is going to be a great experience being in Japan as part of the team and I cannot wait to get out there.”
Leeds Beckett students Keely Hodgkinson and Alex Yee will compete alongside 15 other Olympians and Paralympians from the University, which includes alumni Lucy Bronze, Dame Storey DBE, Kadeena Cox MBE and Honorary Graduate Jonny Brownlee.
Leeds Beckett University Olympians:
- Alex Bell – 800m - BA (Hons) Human Geography 2014, alumna
- Keely Hodgkinson – 800m - BSc (Hons) Criminology, current student
- Alex Yee – triathlon - BSc (Hons) Sports & Exercise Science, current student
- Jonny Brownlee – triathlon - Honorary Graduate, 2019
- Georgia Taylor-Brown – triathlon - BSc (Hons) Sports & Exercise Science 2015, alumna
- Tom Bosworth – race walking - BSc (Hons) Sports Performance 2013, alumnus
- Callum Wilkinson – race walking – BSc (Hons) Sports Events Management 2019, alumnus
- Lucy Bronze – football - BSc (Hons) Sports Studies 2013, alumna
- Lauren Smith – badminton - BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching 2014, alumna
- Emily Campbell – weightlifting - BSc (Hons) Sports Science 2016, alumna
- Lizzie Bird – steeplechase - Leeds Beckett Talent Hub athlete, non-student
Yona Knight-Wisdom – diving - BSc (Hons) Sport & Exercise Science 2016, alumnus
Brendan Boyce – racewalking – BSc (Hons) Sports Performance 2011, alumnus
Quentin Rew – racewalking - French & Related Studies (part time) 2013, alumnus
Leeds Beckett University Paralympians (all Team GB)
- Dame Sarah Storey DBE – para-cycling - BSc (Hons) Sport & Exercise Science 1999, alumna
- Kadeena Cox MBE – multi-disciplined - BSc (Hons) Sports & Exercise Science 2013, Honorary Graduate 2017, alumna
- Ali Jawad – weightlifting –BSc (Hons) Sport & Exercise Science, 2019, alumnus