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Lecture to explore the rebuilding of British race walking


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The rebuilding of British race walking is to be explored in a Leeds Beckett University guest lecture.

Tom Bosworth

Coaches and sports scientists from Leeds Beckett will deliver a free public lecture at the University’s Headingley Campus on Wednesday 15 February at 12pm. To book a ticket for the lecture please click here.

The National Centre for Race Walking was established in 2009. It was initially a partnership between Leeds Beckett and British Athletics, funded to April 2013. In August 2011 the partnership evolved, bringing in England Athletics as principal partner. Since April 2013 the England Athletics focus of support has moved from individual athletes to coach development: the performance programme to develop individual athletes in the race walk events continues through The National Centre for Race Walking Foundation.

Support of athletes such as Olympian and Leeds Beckett graduate Tom Bosworth and IAAF World U20 Championship winner and current student Callum Wilkinson has been provided by Leeds Beckett coaches and sports scientists, under the tutelage of Dr Andi Drake.

Speaking ahead of the lecture, Dr Drake said: “This is the story of how a group of practitioners from Leeds Beckett have worked together to rebuild this athletics event group. Guided by a philosophy that has changed little in the eight years of the programme, our practice is constantly evolving as we learn. It is a delight that the performances of the athletes are now being expressed globally, and we thank the University for giving us this opportunity to share an insight into our activity.”

Sports psychologist Dr Andrew Manley, biomechanics expert Dr Brian Hanley and nutritionist Louise Sutton will also share their expertise at the guest lecture, which is part of the Carnegie Conversations series.

In recent years Great Britain has achieved its best major championships race walk performances since 1964.  In the guest lecture the Leeds Beckett academics will share the strategies and objectives relate to developing performers towards championship level competition.

In 2016, Callum Wilkinson won the IAAF World U20 Championships 10,000m walk, whilst Tom Bosworth placed 6th in the Olympic Games 20,000m walk, with both athletes setting UK Records in their events.

Tom Bosworth exceeded expectations to take a superb sixth-place on his Olympic debut in Rio in 2016.

Tom, BSc (Hons) Sports Performance 2013, smashed the British 20km record in a final headed by Chinese duo Zhen Wang and Cai Zelin after leading the field for the opening half of the race.

His time of 80:13 took 28 seconds off his own national record and represented the best British Race Walking performance since the 1972 games when Paul Nihill also finished sixth in the same event.

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