TASS practitioners support Paddle UK at international training camps

Paddle UK have recently been supported by TASS practitioners, who provided specific service support to canoe athletes at two international training camps at the end of May. Alistair Sampson is a Nutritionist from Oxford Brookes University and Nicole Booth delivers Performance Lifestyle Advice at the University of Central Lancashire.

The first training camp, held in Liptovsky, Slovakia was attended by members of the Canoe Slalom junior and U23 GB teams, in preparation for them competing at the Junior and U23 World Championships later this summer.

TASS Nutritionist Alistair’s support started prior to the international training camp as he led a workshop and cooking session with the athletes. Here he covered the key food principles and cooked a simple but nutritional meal which required minimal preparation time and was ready in less than 20 minutes.

It is common for athletes at international competitions to be accommodated in apartments where they are expected to cook for themselves. To help the group with this, TASS Nutritionist Alistair held a number of sessions during the training week, discussing the key aspects of nutrition. These included how to fuel effectively on race days and the perfect meals to cook to fuel recovery. Throughout the week the group were provided with a budget and were tasked with cooking their own meals in order to practice shopping and cooking with foods bought in an unfamiliar country.

Alistair Sampson said of the camp:

‘It was great to spend time with these athletes, where we could have conversations about their everyday nutrition habits, the importance of hydration and could discuss key strategies such as their recovery from training and multiple races in a day. The cook-a-long workshop we did as a group allowed these athletes to think more specifically about what they could cook when they’re away competing abroad when they will have long competition days.’

The second Paddle UK international camp was located in Foix, France, this time for a group of developing athletes positioned on our England National Talent and Regional Talent training squads. Foix is the course site of next year’s Junior World Championships, and so this provided an excellent opportunity to visit the site allowing aspiring GB Junior team athletes to familiarise themselves with the venue and the water.

TASS Performance Lifestyle Advisor, Nicole Booth attended this training camp where she delivered a number of practical workshops to the group. These included time management, strategies for combining sports with studying, as well as methods of prioritising tasks. The paddlers were also encouraged to guide their decision making using the SMART goals framework and delved into how to deal effectively with and manage stress.

Slalom Regional Pathway Coach, Anton Lippek spoke of these sessions:

‘It was so valuable having Nicole support us on this camp, all of her sessions were really authentic and delivered through conversations, here she engaged with the athletes in order to get to know and support their development beyond the content of the workshops she delivered.’

Daniel Thompson from Paddle UK said:

‘This camp support from TASS has allowed practitioners to spend really valuable time with our athletes which has added real benefit to their training programme. We hope to be able to utilise more of this discipline-specific help in the future.’

If your NGB works with TASS and is interested in receiving camp-based support, please contact Craig Williams or Grace Harrison in the first instance.

Photo credit for Canoeing photograph: A. Edmonds