Ex-Comet praises GB's Performance Camp PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Walsh   
Thursday, 06 May 2021

charles wright 2.pngFORMER Workington Comets rider Charles Wright vowed “you never stop learning” after another state-of-the-art Great Britain Performance Camp.

The latest generation of homegrown heroes were put through their paces for the most rigorous conditioning any British rider has ever received by the national team in speedway.

As part of the ‘tracking success’ programme the theme for the event was Peaking for Performance. They were given fascinating insights into top sportsmen and women to how they reach optimum focus for just a minute of action, exactly the same as they have to on the shale.

Top Premier League Newcastle footballer Matt Ritchie, British gymnast Kelly Simm, England cricketer Kate Cross and top sailor Bruce Keen all joined the camp as speakers in Southampton.

A selection of GB squad and GB Academy members were part of the training weekend including Charles Wright, another ex-Comet Kyle Howarth, Lewis Kerr, Drew Kemp, Tom Brennan, Anders Rowe, Jordan Palin, Dan Gilkes, Jason Edwards, Henry Atkins and Jordan Jenkins.

Wright, British Champion two years ago, was adamant that the progress made with Great Britain has been ground-breaking.

He said: “You never stop learning. Talking to World Champions in other sports is absolutely vital, hearing their experiences and techniques.

“I think the overall message that it always comes back to is why you got into the sport you compete in. Why you love it in the first place, even the highs and lows.

“It’s important to hear it come from other athletes, it makes you understand that you are thinking about the right elements of how to improve. It gives you perhaps one per cent extra belief.

“Last year the theme was man and machine. This year was all about peaking for performance. It was concentrating on that 60 seconds. It happens so fast that you have to prepare in the best possible way physically and mentally.

“I feel I have prepared so much better, gone that extra mile in every respect. That has made a huge difference to me from being a league rider and then going on to be British Champion and riding in a Grand Prix.

“But to have that confirmed and validated by other top sportspeople is massive. I know what I am doing is right and plus I’ve taken on a few extra elements that I know will further improve my preparation.

“You can have a good year but there’s always something you can improve. At the levels I am now aiming for, even just one per cent can be the difference of reaching the Grand Prix series, winning major titles.

“Now it’s just finding all those elements, putting them all together and making it work on the night. But the experience of a Performance Camp is a big bonus for all the boys

“It’s good to be around the Great Britain backroom team. On the speedway side Simon (Stead) and Olly (Allen) have been there and done it. But there’s so much experience and know-how at our disposal now every day of the week.

“I am constantly trying to find an extra edge, better ways to eat, strengthen in body and mind. It can only be a good thing.”

GB team boss Olly Allen was delighted with the “concentration and application” from all riders involved.

He said: “It’s satisfying to see all our members interacting with the backroom staff and our guest speakers.
“Great Britain has never undertaken such a massive task in educating riders on every level of sport as an athlete. But the riders have to understand and be willing. I definitely feel that the concentration and application of all involved is the biggest first step we are looking to achieve.

“We have a lot of levels to go up to compete on the highest stage in world speedway. All the boys now realise what it takes, the sacrifices. They can all look up to Tai Woffinden, Robert Lambert and now Dan Bewley performing on the biggest stages.

“This year will see the biggest operation Great Britain has ever delivered in terms of events, academy days and major international meetings. We are gaining more confidence and investing more time in the current and next generation. It’s hard work but the results, we believe, will be worth it in the long run.”

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