Power athletes put through sevens assessmentSubscribe
EIS 22 November 2011
As England’s men put the finishing touches to their preparations for the Rugby Sevens World Series, kicking off in Australia next week, hopefuls to be amongst the next generation of internationals were being put through their paces at Surrey Sports Park in Guildford earlier this month.
The 25 men and women, aged 15-26, were shortlisted from over 1400 initial applications to the UK Talent Team (UK Sport and the English Institute of Sport [EIS]) Power2Podium campaign following the first round of assessments in September and October.
With Rugby Sevens new to the Olympic programme for Rio in 2016 and with the women’s game also recently being accepted to the Commonwealth Games programme, there has never been a better time to identify and develop rugby seven’s talent.
Having identified athletes from the raw attributes for the sport during phase one, the phase two training weekend took on a more skill acquisition focus alongside the physical and psychological elements of talent.
Barry Maddocks, Head Coach of the England Women’s Sevens team, explained: “This is a great opportunity for these athletes to show us what they can do. They have all demonstrated that they’re quick and powerful and now we’re looking at their ability to develop rugby specific skills and so far I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen.”
The weekend proved an eye opener for the athletes, many of whom come from backgrounds in other sports. Imogen Green said: “This weekend has given me the chance to explore my potential in a new sport that I would never have considered if I hadn’t signed up for the Power2Podium programme. I really hope that I progress to the next stage and see where that takes me.”
Natalie Dunman, Lead Talent Scientist with the UK Talent team, added: “The athletes here have made an impressive start to their talent transfer journey. The research tells us that game intelligence is transferable and many of these athletes have played other team sports to a high level – so we are seeing that transferability in action. It will be important to see how that develops as the athletes who are selected progress through to the talent confirmation period.”
In addition to Rugby Sevens, athletes identified from the first round will be put through phase two assessments in other sports over the coming weeks including athletics, sprint canoeing, sprint cycling, weightlifting and bobsleigh, whilst bob skeleton has also already taken place.