Canoeist heads to talent camp

NOAH Hazlewood, a 13-year-old canoeist from Basingstoke, attended the Youth Sport Trust’s National Talent Camp at Loughborough University, learning what it takes to become an Olympic champion.

The Henry Beaufort School pupil joined 90 other aspiring young athletes at the sixth national camp, run by leading youth sport charity the Youth Sport Trust.

The four-day event offered England’s most talented 13 to18-year-olds an insight in the world of performance sport and the harsh reality of the demands and commitment required to be the best in their chosen sport.

Seven sports were represented – rugby union, cycling, canoeing, volleyball, netball, hockey and wheelchair basketball.

The youngsters heard from guest speakers, including coaches from the England RFU coaching team, Andy Farrell and Graham Rowntree, sports psychologist Robbie Anderson and mountaineer Bonita Norris, the youngest British woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

Also joining Hazlewood was Athens 2004 Olympic gold medallist and Youth Sport Trust ambassador, Darren Campbell, who shared his experiences of his journey to elite sporting success and the pressures of being an elite sport performer.

Campbell said: “Like me, many of these athletes will face some hard challenges and some will doubt their ability to achieve their dream.

“However, if they are committed, work hard and realise the sacrifices they will have to make in order to perform at the highest level, they will be on the right road to sporting success.”

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