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BPA host Team Leader workshop as preparations build for Sochi 2014

on 10-05-2013 17:00

With just over 300 days to go until the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games, Team Leaders from the Paralympic winter sports gathered at St. George’s Park in Staffordshire for a two-day workshop hosted by the British Paralympic Association (BPA).

The sports of Alpine Skiing, Wheelchair Curling and Ice Sledge Hockey were represented at the workshop, with ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission for Sochi, Penny Briscoe, leading the agenda with the support of BPA staff members.

The workshop aims to support sports on their journey to Sochi and ensure that Team Leaders have everything they need to provide their athletes with the best possible preparation for the Games. The BPA therefore identified and reinforced the key performance, operational and communications considerations needed to send a ‘best prepared’ ParalympicsGB team to Russia next year.

BPA Director of Sport Penny Briscoe also had the opportunity to share information and insights that she gained from the Chef de Mission seminar hosted in Sochi in March.

"These workshops are a critical part of our mission to be best prepared." Penny Briscoe

Briscoe said: “It has been challenging in terms of the amount of information that has been shared and discussed, but these workshops are a critical part of our mission to be best prepared and we've achieved a huge amount in terms of our preparedness for Sochi. Working at close quarters with the Team Leaders and Head Coaches from the sports is essential both in terms of the BPA developing an in-depth understanding of the sports’ needs and the sports in turn understanding the unique environment of the Paralympic Games.

“There is total commitment to ensuring every aspiring athlete and staff member has the best advice and support as they strive for Sochi selection."Penny Briscoe

“There is total commitment to ensuring every aspiring athlete and staff member has the best advice and support as they strive for Sochi selection. With a little over 300 days to go we are in good shape and there has been a real buzz in the room today.”

"It is now imperative that we are performing to the best of our ability, so it's an exciting time for our sport.”Andrew Linton

Andrew Linton, Head Coach for Ice Sledge Hockey, added: “It's been useful to gauge what we need to do in order to be best prepared for the coming months. It is now imperative that we are performing to the best of our ability, so it's an exciting time for our sport.”

On day two of the workshop (Friday May 10), guest speakers formed an integral part of the programme. An athlete’s perspective was provided by Dave Smith, who won gold as part of the mixed Coxed Four in Rowing at London 2012. He shared his insights into the Games experience and outlined how his performance was supported by programme staff when it mattered most.

Matt Hammond, Team Leader for Boccia, also shared experiences with his peers and explored how they can encourage personal best performances from athletes in the unique Games environment. He also illustrated his approach to the development of his sport specific support team in the build-up to a Games.

The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games commence on March 7, 2014.
 

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