Olympians Dame Sarah Storey, the GB Paralympic Cyclist; gold medallist GB hockey star Alex Danson and bronze medal gymnast Amy Tinkler addressed an audience of over 400 girls attending the national GSA Girls Go Gold annual sporting conference which this year was hosted by NHSG.
The one-day event was staged across Newcastle High’s new facilities and at Northumbria University with a series of seminars, workshops and lectures offering the opportunity for girls who are keen sportswomen to meet their Olympic heroes and to learn about maximising their sporting potential and the range of career opportunities within sport.
22 schools from the Girls’ Schools Association from across the UK attended together with 14 North East schools from both the independent and maintained sector.
The aim of the annual conference is to provide girls with an insight into the world of high level and competitive sports and to equip them with the knowledge and hopefully inspiration to continue to train hard and achieve their own personal goals.
The conference also provided an introduction to the Talent Transfer Programme through which many of our current Olympians, such as Helen Glover and Amy Williams have been identified. Former NHSG pupil Bethany Gill transferred from playing Hockey for Scotland to Canoeing and is now ranked 8th in the world and is tipped for the Tokyo Olympics. Speakers provided the girls with advice and information on nutrition, psychology, strength and conditioning and performance analysis.
Among the topics up for discussion were: sports medicine (Dr Graeme Wilkes, GB Olympics doctor) and Sports science and research, (Emma Stevenson, Newcastle University). Girls also participated in basketball and volleyball sessions run by top coaches from Newcastle and Northumbria University respectively.
Compered by professional tennis star, Annabel Croft, the event opened with a keynote speech from Olympians Alex Danson and Amy Tinkler followed by eight workshops throughout the day.
13 girls educated within a Girls’ Schools Association school represented Great Britain at the Rio Olympics with 7 achieving medals. Gymnast Amy Tinkler, who won Bronze in the Women’s Floor and who attended the event, goes to a GSA member school and picked up her GCSE results on her return from Rio.