Year 12 College athlete, Tommy D’Cruz, has been selected to participate in the British Athletics’ Advance Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) Programme run to help nurture and develop the talents of the country’s most gifted athletes.
The programme, designed to give young athletes the opportunity to gain further qualifications while continuing to develop their athletic skills, identifies the top performers in each discipline in the country, to help nurture and develop and prepare them for competition at both European, Olympic and World levels. The course is also worth a valuable 40 UCAS points, helping the athletes of the future enrol in further education opportunities for the betterment of their careers.
Ranked as one of the top ten hurdlers in the country for his age group, Tommy travelled to Loughborough University to begin the eleven-session course, covering all aspects of the demands of professional athletes, from nutrition and sports psychology to international selection policies and career planning. The course will also provide Tommy with a mentor, in the shape of Plymouth and Great British Squad hurdler, David King; a partnering that Tommy is particularly thrilled with: “I couldn’t be happier to be mentored by David King; I have watched his career for years and seen the incredible successes he has had on the athletics track. I will have the opportunity to meet with him during three sessions and work on my training, getting a unique insight into his experiences. I am honoured to be able to access his knowledge and experience which will, no doubt, make me a better athlete.”
The 100 athletes invited to join the course have been identified as those with the potential to progress to European, World and Olympic levels; something Tommy is busy focusing on: “I am working towards the European Championships in Italy in July where I hope to translate some of the programme’s advice and training into recordable success on the track.”
Newton Abbot College has been proud to support Tommy throughout his athletics career; support that Tommy has found invaluable: “Newton Abbot College as a whole, and the PE department especially, have done nothing but champion my athletics career. I have been incredibly lucky that they have not only understood the demands of the athletics world, but they have also funded trips to various events and meetings. Without their support, I wouldn’t be where I am in my career today.”
Team Leader of Physical Education at the College, Jamie Salter, couldn’t be happier for Tommy: “As a College, we are extremely proud of Tommy’s achievements over the years. The AASE programme is extremely competitive; for Tommy to have been selected as one of only a few athletes nationwide shows how incredibly talented he is. Tommy is one of the hardest working and committed students I have ever had the pleasure of working with; the effort and dedication he has shown to reach this level highlights the fact that he is a young man with the credentials to go all the way to the top.”