Talented young sports people from across Merseyside and West Lancs honed their skills and took tips from world champion gymnast Beth Tweddle at a special event at Edge Hill University.

One hundred and twenty gifted and talented sports students attended the Junior Athlete Education event working with third year Physical Education undergraduates, who delivered sessions on how to manage the demands of sports training with school work, family and friends.

Beth Tweddle, who is among the favourites to win this year?s BBC Sports Personality of the Year shared her experiences as a young sportsperson explaining how she balanced her training and school work and also took part in practical sessions with students to develop endurance, strength and agility.

Senior lecturer in Physical Education Helen Thompson-Coleman led the event that links directly with students? undergraduate module about PE in the community:

“It?s important to ensure that our students engage in practical work to provide a very real sense of how best to promote sport in the community. We provide an ideal base in which to bring local PE and school sport closer together and an opportunity for teachers and pupils to find out more about how to balance the demands of young sports people.”

Students planned and designed the practical multi-skills workshops and devised question and answer sessions for pupils and teachers.

“I must stress that our philosophy is to encourage all children to participate in sport not just those who are gifted and talented. The Junior Athletic Education programme is about realising potential and helping children that may come from disadvantaged areas or backgrounds.
We are strongly committed to balancing sporting excellence with participation. Sporting achievement at its highest level requires tremendous personal commitment, but as PE teachers we must also be committed to supporting pupils who may never be able to strive for such ambitions.”