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Who's your mentor?

by Press Release
Wednesday 26th October 2011

A new study released today by the Aviva-sponsored ‘On Camp with Kelly’ initiative has revealed that long term mentoring makes a measurable difference to athletic performance

The first ever study to investigate the benefits of an educational mentoring programme found that 80% of the athletes mentored by Dame Kelly Holmes through the ‘On Camp with Kelly’ initiative, with the support of Aviva, had better performance results than their counterparts.

In addition, qualitative research by Dr Anna Waters, a leading sport psychologist, found six key ways in which ‘On Camp with Kelly’ has been supporting athletes since 2004 and contributing to their success. From this Dr Waters identified asix step mentoring modelthat has a direct impact on athlete performance and could provide a template for future sports mentoring programmes and a legacy post London 2012.

The six steps include one-to-one mentoring from Dame Kelly, support, preparation, education, long term regular contact and injury management. The research revealed that they lead to improvements in athletes’ confidence, self belief, race knowledge, motivation, concentration, persistence and competitiveness, which results in improved performance.

The benefits of this six step mentoring process have been demonstrated by the recent success of ‘On Camp with Kelly’ athlete Hannah England who won a silver medal in the 1500m at the 2011 IAAF World Championships.

Hannah said: “The support and education I have received from the Aviva-sponsored ‘On Camp with Kelly’ initiative has been crucial in helping me to achieve success in senior competition. For a mentor to be effective you need to know them well and I have developed that relationship with Kelly over the last seven years. The support of Kelly and ‘On Camp with Kelly’ will be crucial in the build up to London 2012. Kelly has been there and done it herself and she knows exactly what you need to hear.”

Dr Waters has also extrapolated the six step athletics mentoring model into real life skills and developed a corresponding version for health and fitness suitable for all ages and abilities.

Dame Kelly Holmes said: “Developing athletes of the future, with Aviva’s support, is a passion of mine. Through a long term successful mentoring programme we can develop the kind of talent in the UK that can compete with and beat the best in the world.

“Effective mentoring can open up new ideas and bring the best out of people. Everyone has obstacles to overcome at some point in life, whether they be sports orientated or personal, and one way of achieving this is through this mentoring model.”

Gerri Carr, Senior Sponsorship Manager, Aviva UK, said: “It’s great to see how our investment in ‘On Camp with Kelly’ is helping pave the way for potential champions on the world stage. It is clear that Kelly’s mentoring model is working, providing an essential part of athletes’ development and making a difference to performances. We have been dedicated to supporting British athletes through our longstanding partnership with UK Athletics and we are proud to see success as the ‘On Camp with Kelly’ athletes progress through the Aviva GB&NI Team.”

Further details of this encouraging set of research results can be found at www.oncampwithkelly.co.uk/news_detail.html


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