Endurocad recently held its second high performance  girls-only skills training camp from 21-25 June 2018 at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport.   The first two days of the camp consisted of 16 national and regional academy athletes who attended  the “Plan for success” camp.

The workshops and practical sessions focussed on different aspects that needs to be addressed or incorporated  when athletes strive to achieve  their goals in sport and reach their potential.

Aspects covered  during the Camp included goal setting workshops with  the current race calendar  (The South African, Continental and  International )  and  ASA selection Criteria in mind ,  addressing health issues like iron deficiency (by Dr Janamie Steenkamp) injury prevention (Moira Robertson ) and immune system (by Dr Wayne Derman ).  Other aspects covered were  appropriate event selection ( track , cross country, road running ) in the different phases of a young athletes career plan, periodisation,  peaking, building strength and  running economy as well as mental toughness and enterprise development.

It is very encouraging to see the wealth of talent ranging  from ages 15 – 20 in South Africa The challenge remains to provide opportunities within SA  to develop  and guide the athletes to mature and reach their potential which is normally around 25 – 28 years of age .

The last two days consisted of 24 prospective  female athletes who underwent various assessments and training sessions . The  physiological tests included  were VO2 max,  Running economy ,  Threshold Values, and Countermovement jumps . These are all good indicators of running potential .  In addition a whole range of Psychological tests were included (career interest,  mental capacities,  GRIT and an irrational cognition scale ) to have a comprehensive profile of the individuals for holistic athlete development programs.

Endurocad is a non-profit organisation that offers all South African distance runners the chance to become world-class athletes through comprehensive training programmes. Training sessions were led by coach Ernie Gruhn and Jacques Jansen van Rensburg  who instructed the girls during speed and rhythm drills. Additionally, Marvelous from Choose Day led a motivational session, inspiring the female athletes to work hard and chase their dreams.

Endurocad selected the 24 young women to be tested , from which 50 percent come from  the local Western Cape Region, and 70 percent aged between 15-18 years old.

The aim of the camps are to get all the girls, who are mostly in high school, to the next level, and enable them to represent South Africa and do well at IAAF championships. The next under 20 championships will take place later this month in Tampere, Finland, and the Youth Olympic Games will be held in October this year. Ultimately, we want to see more women earning medals at championships and becoming qualified IAAF Gold label athletes.

Endurocad would like to thank all our partners, sponsors and service providers; Stellenbosch University Sport Physiology Labs, Adidas, Discovery, Community Chest, Remgro,  Vital Health , Virgin Active, Stellenbosch University’s Institute for Sports and Exercise medicine (ISEM), Tsogosun, Cape Town Marathon, Chirosport SA, Pay@ and Qhubeka, for their contribution and involvement to the second Girls Only Camp.