Since Scottish Pentathlon (SP) established the Development Squad in 2016, the group has met for supported training sessions at Kilgraston and Strathallan, while the squad has also been supported through the staging of competitions and at events.
In tandem with this programme, SP has been developing a regional “Hub” concept designed to broaden the appeal and interest in Modern Pentathlon across Scotland.
The Squad Training Days have worked well, with a Development Coach providing the coaching and mentoring, in order to support and develop a core group of athletes able to participate, enjoy and compete at a variety of levels.
Progress towards establishing these Hubs has been encouraging with 4 areas earmarked namely Aberdeen, Stirling, Dunfermline and The Borders, with equipment supplied to the Hubs for training and competition.
For the remainder of 2017 – 2018 and the future SP will retain the concept of a squad, however the intention now is to support squad athletes through enabling the four Modern Pentathlon Hubs to use this new equipment to provide training locally on site to squad athletes and those identified for further support as they emerge.
SP will therefore be running a reduced number of Squad Training Days in 2017 – 2018 and also provide the Hubs with some funding to finance specialist coaching to meet athlete needs.
SP believes the approach of establishing 4 Hubs, running 2 Squad Training Days and providing the means for 2 Competitions, in tandem with local athlete support, will be a better use of resources and also encourage wider participation in the sport.
A Scottish Youth Development Squad was established in January 2016 and a group of 12 athletes, supported by a Development Coach recruited through partnership with Pentathlon GB, was selected to take part in an initial programme of 3 training days and individual assessments and mentoring.
The Development Squad has been retained for 2017 – 2018, again under the direction of a Development Coach, with the following young athletes selected onto the squad:
On Yee Orbell; Katie Knowles; Olivia Burns; Eva Prato-Luna; Isabella McQuaker-Kajiwara; Kai Crawford; Erin Gibson; Finlay Gilmour; Blake Hedley; Elliot Hedley and Katie Rourke
A support programme has been established for the year with each athlete advised of a personal programme to follow, with regular contact from the Coach, and supported by a programme of squad sessions and a competition schedule.
It is hoped that the programme evolve to ensure that membership of the squad is aspirational, selection criteria continue to be open and transparent and the pathway is supported by a strong venue/coach/volunteer base for the programme.
Dates of next squad days and competitions:
Sunday 20th August – Squad training day (Strathallan School)
Saturday 2nd September – Yorkshire Region Triathlon Championships (Bishop Burton College, Hull)
Saturday 30th Sept/Sunday 1st Oct – GB National Triathlon Championships (Solihull)
Sunday 8th October – Squad training day (Strathallan School)
Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th October – Yorkshire Region Tetrathlon/Pentathlon Championships (Bishop Burton College, Hull)
Sunday 5th November – Scottish Saltires Schools Biathlon Time Trial (Aberdeen Hub)
Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th November – Training days and competitions (Venue TBC)