Louis has a world class chance

Ipswich School pupil Louis Persent has recently awarded a place on UK Athletics' World Class Talent Programme. The 17-year-old Colchester Harriers AC sprinter has been made part of an elite squad of 77 young British athletes and will spend the last few days of the school term attending a training camp at Loughborough University.

Stuart Watson

Ipswich School pupil Louis Persent has recently awarded a place on UK Athletics' World Class Talent Programme.

The 17-year-old Colchester Harriers AC sprinter has been made part of an elite squad of 77 young British athletes and will spend the last few days of the school term attending a training camp at Loughborough University.

Persent said: “This is a great opportunity. From now on, if I have any problems with fitness or technique, I know that direct and expert help is available.


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“Being monitored in this way is quite daunting, but I'm grateful for the support and encouragement I shall be getting.”

Ipswich School's Director of Games Julian Halls, a member of the British Olympic men's hockey team at the 1996 and 2000 games, said: “Louis has the dedication and the exceptional maturity which go to make an elite athlete.

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“Other young aspiring Olympians could learn a lot from him about what it takes to convert from being a talented youngster, and as a nation we have plenty of them, into being a future world class athlete.”

The World Class Talent Programme, financed by the National Lottery, is all about developing potential.

Dave Collins, UK Athletics' Performance Director, commented on the list of 77 young athletes: “There are some great performers on this list, but much more important at this age is that they demonstrate the potential to further develop towards senior success.”

The Programme is based on the Five Rings Model, and addresses five areas: Movement Skills, Technical/Tactical, Psycho-Behavioural Skills, Lifetsyle & Support and Physical Conditioning.

Collins explains: “The model aims to produce the stars of the future by looking carefully and identifying those athletes with all the facets required to move up the world class pathway.”

The programme helps UK Athletics to identify those who have the capacity to reach the top, and helps the young athletes by providing them with a personalised programme to address any weakness and to build on their strengths.

Selection for the programme is the climax of what has been a golden year for Persent.

In May, he won four gold medals and one silver at the Essex AAA Track and Field Championships, while in June he won, for the second year running, the coveted Senior Victor Ludorum award at Ipswich School's annual sports day.

In July, Persent competed in the Sainsbury's English Schools' Championships in Birmingham, taking second place in the 400m final with a time of 47.74.

He then travelled to Hengelo in the Netherlands as a member of the British team competing in the European Athletics Association's Under 20 Championships, where he and his team mates gained gold for Great Britain in the 4x400m relay.

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