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credit Tanya Raab

Robert Mann - credit Tanya Raab

Projects to support delivery of the Youth Talent Programme

Talented young athletes will soon get advice and support on reducing the risk of injury from two projects jointly run by the University of Exeter and England Athletics.

The first project will create an evidence-based and practice-informed intervention to reduce the risk of injury in adolescent distance runners.

This intervention will be focused on runners in the Youth Talent Programme (YTP) – one of the first steps on England Athletics' "talent pathway" for English track and field athletes aged 16-18.

Robert Mann, a final year PhD student at the University of Exeter (Sport and Health Sciences), will lead this project.

In the other project, Robert Mann will be embedded in the YTP, as a Knowledge Exchange Fellow, to support with content delivery and development of future research project ideas to help these youth athletes successfully transition to senior success.

These projects have been awarded funding by the Economic and Social Research Council, as part of the Impact Acceleration Account.

Associate Professor Alan Barker, of Exeter’s Children’s Health and Exercise Research Centre, who will oversee these projects, said: "It is wonderful to have received funding to continue our research partnership with England Athletics.

"The nature of these projects will allow us to generate further research impact, something that has always been at the heart of this partnership.”

The projects begin this month and will run for a year, initially focussing on the Leeds Beckett University and University of Birmingham YTP delivery sites.

Professor Craig Williams (University of Exeter), Dr Jo Day (University of Exeter), and two academics from the University of Bath, Dr Bryan Clift and Dr Carly McKay, will also help to deliver these projects.

Both the University of Exeter and University of Bath have achieved "Charter Mark" status from England Athletics, emphasising their commitment to providing a training environment that supports athletes in their development.

England Athletics National Endurance Lead, Spencer Duval, said: “At this exciting time for talent development, it’s fantastic to be working with the University of Exeter on these innovative projects.

"The resources developed will undoubtedly help the Youth Talent Programme.”

Robert Mann added: “This funding has provided a unique opportunity for us to apply my PhD research in practice.

"I am excited for these projects to start and to help support the delivery of the Youth Talent Programme.”

Date: 8 October 2020

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