NISA Development Camp

On July 4th and 5th, the School hosted its first development camp for the National Ice Skating Association. More than 80 figure skaters – representing NISA’s Regional 1, Regional 2, Talent Potential and AASE programmes – came from as far away as Aberdeen to take part in sports science workshops and fitness testing. These sessions were designed and delivered by School staff, with support from recent graduates Alex Lilley and Mark Alderson, and postgraduate students Lizzie Stamp and Sam Fisher.

Dan Bishop, Tom Gee and Mark Smith took the skaters through tests of their strength, power, flexibility and aerobic endurance. Christian Swann introduced them to the process of performance profiling and goal setting, to underpin the purpose of the camp and reinforce how the skaters could make best use of their new knowledge. Mistrelle Ellmore covered nutritional topics such as what to eat before and after training, and the appropriateness of sports drinks for young athletes, as well as running information sessions for parents and coaches. Sandy Willmott discussed a systematic approach to analysing technique – using video clips, for example – with the Talent Potential and AASE programme athletes.

vert jumpSingle-leg vertical jumps goal settingGoal-setting fun!


The schedule for both days was packed but the camp ran very smoothly, with invaluable organisational support from Alex Mckeown (NISA’s Performance and Development Co-ordinator) and Becky Corne (Ice Skating Support Officer). The skaters put in a tremendous amount of effort, and the whole weekend had a very positive atmosphere. NISA’s Development Director David Hartley said ‘This weekend has been a great success. It’s been a long time coming, but thanks to our partnership with the University of Lincoln, we are now able to provide sport science support to our development athletes. The feedback has been extremely positive and the skaters have all taken something from the weekend as well as meeting and making friends with other members of their squad.’

wingate nutrition
Wingate power tests A plea to parents!


The information and experience gained from the camp will now be used to assist the planning of future camps, with the next one scheduled for October. Senior Lecturer Sandy Willmott said ‘It’s been a pleasure to work with the NISA skaters and staff this weekend, and we’re looking forward to further developing these links. Our initial contact actually involved a project in which some of our students helped in the production of safeguarding resources, and I hope that we will be able to explore ways in which students from all of our courses can become involved in this fantastic opportunity to work with athletes and staff from a national governing body.”

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