Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Gold medal hero launches academy

Six-time Paralympic gold medallist David Weir has launched an academy to help the elite athletes of the future
Six-time Paralympic gold medallist David Weir has launched an academy to help the elite athletes of the future

Six-time Paralympic gold medallist David Weir has launched an academy to help the elite athletes of the future.

The Weir Archer Academy will work alongside sporting authorities to develop Kingsmeadow Athletics Stadium in Kingston upon Thames, south west London, into world-class facilities.

Weir, who is founding the academy with his coach Jenny Archer, said it was important to nurture the talent of tomorrow.

The wheelchair racer, who won four golds at last year's Paralympics, will have a hands-on role at the centre with plans to mentor the athletes it takes on.

He said: "It came from an idea that me and Jenny had years ago. When I was in Beijing (for the 2008 Olympics) I was thinking about our squad and looking at the other nations.

"I thought if no one's going to do something I think I should do something and help the next generation as I don't want our hopes to die in this country - I knew I was getting a little bit older.

"I'm glad that we've not just stuck with wheelchair racing, we've got other sports involved too, although it's mostly athletics."

Weir added: "Getting the best out of your body is about more than just pushing weights and covering miles and miles on the track.

"It's also about getting the right coaching, advice about nutrition, psychological development and harnessing all that science has to offer.

"Jenny and I want to build such facilities here at Kingsmeadow and make them accessible to all athletes - young, old, disabled and able-bodied alike."

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