The Jersey Sport Foundation has launched an exciting new initiative to hunt for and develop the next Jersey super star. Called the JSF Talent Programme it has been set up to provide young people with an interest in performance with a well-supported and structured long term pathway towards performance sport. Although this is not to be seen as a ‘fast track’, the opportunities presented on the programme to selected children will vastly accelerate their progression in sport.
Once successfully accessing the programme, young athletes/students will be guided and tested to identify their key attributes, and map them intelligently to relevant sports locally that possess the environment to foster medals at Island Games, National Championships, European/World Championships and Commonwealth Games.
Young athletes will be subjected to a range of physical, nutritional, lifestyle and mental programmes, all designed to fully prepare body and mind for the rigors of future involvement in high performance sport. They will also be given the opportunity to try new sports, meet potential sponsors, meet and learn from current high performance athletes, test themselves and access pathways that they would not ordinarily be able to.
The main body of the Programme focuses on setting the stage for later success by way of mastery of the general athletic skills which include elements of athletics (speed and power), martial arts (agility, flexibility, spatial awareness and mental toughness), gymnastics (strength, power and mobility), calisthenics (strength/power) and movement competency (efficiency and mobility) that they wouldn’t typically get exposed to in the club environment. As such this should be seen to support sports club training, not replace it.
The Talent Programme is broken down into three stages:
Stage 1: Talent Screening
The Talent Screening Stage is an open day where young people from years 8&9 will be measured on a range of performance qualities. The best performing children from that cohort will be selected for one academic years’ worth of support.
Stage 2: Talent Development (Year 1)
The Talent Development forms one years’ worth of support which will be reviewed annually for continuation. Young people will be immersed in a multilateral athletic skills development syllabus with additional education wrapped around to include nutrition, healthy movement, athlete lifestyle, psychology and injury prevention. During this stage, athletes will ‘learn to train’ and sample a range of ‘non mainstream’ sports in Jersey that are able to provide and foster the development of performance. Such sports include coastal rowing, combat sports (boxing, jiu-Jitsu, Judo and MMA), target sports (shooting and archery) to name a few.
Stage 3: Talent Identification and Confirmation (Year 2-3)
During the Programme, young athletes will be exposed to and sample a variety of sports. It is expected that during the first year on the programme athletes will attend three sports; and in the second year cut down to two sports, and finally by 16 years for boys and 15 years for girls, young athletes have specialised in one main sport. During this time the Talent Programme will liaise with sports technical coaches to Talent ‘Identify’ and ‘Confirm’ whether they possess the unique skills to be national level competitors. Upon gaining confirmation from technical coaches, JSF Talent Programme Athletes will be given instant access to the JSF Performance Programme where the top athletes in the Island train together on highly specific and monitored programmes.
Who are we looking for?
1) Current young athletes (from individual sports) whose coaches have identified them as ‘high potential’.
2) Current young students who have been identified with good genetic potential, but may not currently be involved in a sport.
3) Current young athletes (from team based sports) who would be interested in talent transfer to a medal based individual sport.
How do athletes/students apply and get access to the programme?
Initial Contact – Students/athletes are identified by their sports coach or teacher based on three selection criteria above (if you have received this link you have passed stage 1).
Stage 1 – Screening: Selected student/athletes attend the talent day at FB Fields. Should you wish to attend, please confirm your place by booking a ticket.
Stage 2 – Talent Development: The top 30 student/athletes are selected for the JSF Talent Development Programme (unsuccessful athletes will be placed on a waiting list).
What ages are we looking for?
Athletes or students in next year’s year 8-9 (2017/2018), so current year 7’s and year 8’s, priority will be given the schools and sports in the FB Fields catchment area, but is open to all who make it there for 4pm sharp.
When and where will this run?
The programme will run 1 x per week on Wednesday afternoons from 4 pm to 5 30pm at FB fields for the duration of 1 academic year (term time only).
On completion of the year, athletes/students places on the programme will be subject to review.
Will there be a cost to the programme?
No, the programme will be provided free of charge as part of the JSF Community Services.