Helping sports kids become Elite stars

Apple Fitness are aiming to sponsor outstanding athletes in the local area, pictured from left Steve Chambers, Worksop Guardian Sports Editor Graham Smyth and Mark Smith (w120911-5b)
Apple Fitness are aiming to sponsor outstanding athletes in the local area, pictured from left Steve Chambers, Worksop Guardian Sports Editor Graham Smyth and Mark Smith (w120911-5b)

THE Worksop Guardian has teamed up with Apple Health and Fitness to find the district’s top sporting prospects and help them reach the top.

Bassetlaw’s very best 14 to 20-year-old sportsmen and women are invited to apply for one of FOUR places on the Apple Elite programme – including a three year sponsorship package worth £30,000.

Apple’s experts, along with Worksop Guardian sports editor Graham Smyth, will select four local youngsters who are excelling in their chosen sport and have ambition and genuine prospects of reaching the top flight.

The team at the Bridge Place centre will work alongside the youngsters’ current coaches and supplement their training with nutritional advice, sports massage, sports psychology, physiotherapy and strength and conditioning coaching.

The quartet will be followed and profiled by the Worksop Guardian in their quest to compete at the highest level in their sport.

Apple already supports a number of sports clubs, companies, sportsmen and women and members of the public with personal training sessions, injury rehabilitation and fitness classes.

Supremo Mark Smith explained why he now wants to help sporting wonderkids realise their full potential: “We have all been inspired by the Olympics and for our team this is a way of committing to the development of our local youngsters.”

“We hope that local businesses will get involved and sponsor the programme, and join us in giving something back to the area’s young people.”

General manager Steve Chambers, a qualified coach and sports therapist, will oversee the scheme.

He hopes the very best of the district’s sporting talent will put themselves forward, and promises to work with their existing coaches to boost their development.

“We will appoint a qualified mentor to work closely with the youngsters and their coaches to provide the ongoing support needed to develop them to elite level. This will vary from individual to individual and each programme will be tailored accordingly.”

The programme will be reviewed on an annual basis until the conclusion in 2015, and the support offered by Apple will be worth around £30,000.

Guardian sports editor Graham Smyth hopes that Bassetlaw’s sports clubs will back the scheme and put forward their very best talents.

He said: “This is a great opportunity for four of the area’s budding stars to take advantage of the expertise and facilities on offer at Apple, and take their training to the next level.”

“We have a great deal of talent coming through the ranks at many of our local sports clubs and with some extra help and support we could see the next Jess Ennis or Brad Wiggins coming out of Bassetlaw.”

“The exposure they’ll get from the Worksop Guardian will help attract sponsors and boost the profile of their sports club.”

Worksop athletics star Tesni Ward believes the Apple Elite programme will be of real benefit for budding sports stars.

The Team GB javelin prospect and Rio Olympic hopeful said: “It’s definitely something that will help their development.”

“When I was coming through, the physio and sports massage would have been a real blessing for my career.”

To apply for the scheme you must be between the age of 14 and 20 (inclusive) and competing in any sport at county level or above.

Simply email your name, date of birth, address, contact details, sports club and recent achievements to or apply at Apple Health and Fitness on Bridge Place, Worksop.

Applications must be submitted by the end of September, when a number of candidates will be selected for more detailed discussions with a view to commencing the programme by the end of October 2012.

For more information, or to get involved with sponsoring the scheme, please call Steve Chambers at Apple on 01909 484106.