Upper Clutha Youth Programme Seeking Athletes

Pictured: The 2019 UCJDP athletes with coordinator Britt Hawes. Photo: Supplied.

The Upper Clutha Junior Development Programme, which just finished a successful 2019 year, is looking for more athletes to join next year’s programme. The programme, started in 2016 by the Upper Clutha Sports Community (UCSC), is a free programme for athletes in years nine through 11 that aims to educate students as well as improve their sporting ability. The athletes attend sessions on a variety of topics, including nutrition, mindfulness and core strength each year.

The students are also exposed to a range of different aspects of being an athlete outside of playing their chosen sport(s). Thomas Benson, one of this year’s athletes said, “My highlight was making healthy smoothies at the Otago Academy of Sport because I learned that starchy food like toast does not digest as well on game day.” George Crotty equally found the experience rewarding. “[My highlight was] when Luke Hetzel from Snow Sports New Zealand came and spoke to us about social media and how to promote yourself to get recognised as an athlete.”

As well as gaining a knowledge of theoretical sports elements, the athletes are also introduced to practical outdoor activities. “An overnight camp at Glendhu Bay saw the athletes learn a new skill in paddle-boarding along with braving the freezing waters of Lake Wanaka to learn how to use their mind and breathing to control their body’s reaction to the cold,” said UCSC trustee Diana Schikker. “Both of these sessions were under the guidance of local world champion paddle-boarder Annabel Anderson, one of many guest presenters to assist with the programme.”

All involved in this year’s programme would like to thank the 2019 coordinator Britt Hawes for her efforts in providing a stimulating course for the athletes. Registrations for the 2020 programme will open soon. For more information, email uppercluthasportscommunity@gmail.com.


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