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Could you train like a Champion?

UK Sport has today launched ‘Train Like Champions’, a scheme to find volunteers to take part in cutting edge research projects who are willing and able to push themselves to their limits – all in the name of British sporting success.


Much attention has been paid in recent weeks to UK Sport’s Research and Innovation (R&I) work and its contribution to the technology supporting our elite athletes in Beijing. However, before British athletes had even touched down on Chinese soil, the R&I team had prepared the foundation to expand this work over the next Olympiad into projects investigating human performance sciences, to discover and test novel training strategies and methods. This work is underpinned by the same, simple mission: seeking cutting edge knowledge and expertise to enhance the performance of Britain’s top athletes.

Head of R&I at UK Sport, Dr Scott Drawer, explained the need for help from Britain’s sport and fitness enthusiasts in this process:

“For work in this area to be applicable to elite athletes, we need to involve participants in our projects who are capable of training like our best athletes – with the utmost dedication and determination.

“The overall performance level is not the only factor which will determine whether individuals can contribute – it is just as important that we find participants who, like many of our athletes, are at the perceived limit of their individual capabilities, whether that be their best bench press score or their personal best for a 40km cycling time trial.

“We need people who have reached a plateau in their training. Every dedicated sportsperson knows this feeling – you train for years and, at some point, you stop becoming better. Our top athletes experience the same problem, where the investment in training time and effort leads to smaller and smaller gains.

“The ability to assess novel training methods will provide us with a unique opportunity to challenge our knowledge of training principles and explore ways to make a significant impact on our elite athletes’ performance.”

In return for their commitment to structured training programmes, these ‘elite subjects’ will have access to free performance assessments and training plans, and benefit from innovative training interventions under the guidance of world class coaches and sport scientists, enabling them to train like a champion.

The R&I team are hoping to recruit male and female volunteers with a variety of training backgrounds; from endurance runners to weightlifters and those with experience in combat sports. To find out more information or register your interest, please visit www.uksport.gov.uk/tlc