Happy Monday everyone!
This post is a little different to my previous posts but it’s definitely not one to miss! If you follow me over on my Twitter you may have seen me tweet about what I got up to this weekend; specifically the ‘Phase One Olympic Trial’ I attended with my sister. Crazy, right?
The response to those tweets was insane and I am so thankful to have such a supportive following, and everyone who wished me luck for the big day. Afterwards you voted for this post and I can’t disappoint you so here it is, my experience from the initial application to the day itself.
- Information about the campaign:
First up, I can’t start talking about something when you’ve no idea what it actually is, can I?
#DiscoverYourGold is “The biggest multi-sport talent identification campaign in British history… and aims to identify talented young athletes who have the potential to become future champions.
Targeting 15-24-year-olds, #DiscoverYourGold is a partnership between UK Sport, the English Institute of Sport (EIS), and a range of National Governing Bodies and provides gifted youngsters the chance to be fast-tracked into the exciting world of high performance sport.” (Quote)
- The application process:
I first heard and saw about this campaign during the Winter Olympics, 2018, after Lizzie Yarnold and Laura Deas won Gold and Bronze in the Skeleton (both of whom participated in the #DiscoverYourGold campaigns).
Me and my sister both applied and after filling out a lengthy application form detailing our previous sporting history, achievements and future goals, our applications were sent off.
We then had to wait till May to find out if we had been successful!
Obviously, I wouldn’t be writing this post if I didn’t get accepted, I received my email at the beginning of May and it’s safe to say I was extremely excited – as was my sister!
Both of us confirmed almost instantaneously and all we had to do then was wait until the 30th so we could actually have our trial. As you can imagine thousands of people applied to be a part of this campaign and we were two out of 2000 who got accepted to the Phase 1 trial, so were overwhelmed to even have been chosen in the first place!
A screenshot of the email I received:
- The trial itself:
We knew after receiving our invitations what the trial would consist of, it was a variety of different tests to see if we would be suitable for the fast tracked program and the sports themselves. The campaign is looking for people who will progress to Olympic level for the 2022 / 24 and 26 games!
We were being tested to see if we would be suitable for Skeleton, Track Cycling, Rowing and Rugby Seven’s – we were originally told it would be for Speed Skating too but unfortunately they were looking for 15/16 year old athletes to join their junior academy.
The tests we completed were as follows:
- Anthropometrics (Standing Height, Sitting Height, Body Mass and Arm Span).
- Vertical Jump (best of 3 trials).
- Standing Long Jump (best of 3 trials).
- 30m Sprint (best of 3 trials).
- 6 second repeated sprint test – Watt Bike, followed by one 10 second test without resistance (best of 3 trials).
- Watt Bike Ramp Test (endurance test, similar to the bleep test where the required power output increases every minute by 20 watts).
- We also had our photographs taken and a brief interview with questions about why we applied, our future goals and our proudest sporting achievement this month.
We went through each test with a group of 9 other girls all of similar ages, 21 – 23. That really helped to keep us motivated, especially in the bike tests! I’m not a very keen cyclist at the best of times so that was what I struggled with the most (shout out to the amazing helper who granted did yell at me to keep going but helped at the same time)!
Now, I knew going into this that it would be hard work and probably one of the most physically exhaustive tests that I have ever done but even that didn’t prepare me. Let’s put it this way, it’s two days later, the DOMS are real and I can’t walk properly still!
- The experience and what happens now:
Overall, the experience was invaluable and I am still immensely proud to say that I was invited to an Olympic Trial, regardless of the phase and if I progress.
It is another waiting game now though, I will find out by the 20th July whether I have been successful or not in passing to Phase 2 and regardless of the result I will let you all know. I tried my absolute hardest and at the end of the day that is what counts, I don’t think anyone can argue with me either considering how much my body aches! You’d think I was about eighty years old by the way I am walking!
Let’s face it, like my Mum said, not everyone can say that they have been invited to an Olympic Trial!
Thank you so much to everyone who wished us good luck on the day and it has been an exciting experience both participating and documenting it for all of you! If you have any questions at all, leave them below in the comments and I’ll be sure to answer them!
I still can’t believe that I was even selected in the first place!
Find out how I did here.
(All photographs featured in this blog post are my own).
Information gained from: English Institute of Sport website.