South Canterbury athletes on the fast-track

20:50, May 27 2014
olympic potential
POTENTIAL: Jacob Matson, James Sandilands, Lauren Bruce, Holly Edmonston and Jack Ford have been selected for the "pathway to podium" programme.

Five promising South Canterbury athletes have been tipped as future Olympic champions.

Bike NZ High Performance Squad Members Holly Edmonston and Jack Ford, and Athletics NZ High Performance Squad members Lauren Bruce, Jacob Matson and James Sandilands have been selected for this year's "pathway to podium" programme.

The programme, run by High Performance NZ Sport, identified athletes with the potential to compete at the 2016, 2020 and 2024 Olympics.

Co-ordinator Andrew Ellis, who has played 15 one-day internationals for New Zealand, said he was looking forward to working with the athletes over the next year. His role would be to provide professional advice and performance planning, training regimes, strength and conditioning and nutrition.

'They've already got the coaching infrastructure in place, I'm not going to be telling the cyclists how to ride a bike," he said.

"However, I do know something about the rigours of professional sport and how to deal with pressure situations. There are some aspects which transcend sport."

Four of the five selected for the programme - Sandilands, Bruce, Edmonston and Ford were nominated for junior sportsperson of the year at the South Canterbury Sports Awards.

Sandilands represented NZ in the 110m hurdles at the 2013 IAAF World Youth Championships and was placed 10th in the high jump, in the Under-20 Junioren - Gala in Germany. Bruce finished second in the under-20 discus at the Australian Junior Nationals in March. Ford won silver medals in the 3km individual pursuit and the 10km scratch race at the NZ Track Nationals in March.

Matson was not nominated but won the 100m and 200m events in the under-20 section at the New Zealand Track and Field Championships in Wellington.


The Timaru Herald