Nino Severino: How young Ipswich athletes are inspiring others around the world

(L-R) Nino Severino, Ruby Hunt, Georgie Lawson, Veron Eze, Josh Perkins, Charlie Harvey-Lloyd and We

(L-R) Nino Severino, Ruby Hunt, Georgie Lawson, Veron Eze, Josh Perkins, Charlie Harvey-Lloyd and Wez Pooley. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA - Credit: Archant

In his latest column, Nino Severino explains how a special project means young Ipswich athletes will be inspiring and helping others around the world.

Young Ipswich basketball star Veron Eze demonstrating plyometrics. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

Young Ipswich basketball star Veron Eze demonstrating plyometrics. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA - Credit: Archant

Running The Hub Centre of Excellence from our base at the University of Suffolk is a dream come true for me.

Before I ventured off on the WTA tour with Elena, our dream was to one day attempt to bring the good and the great of Ipswich sport together – and I feel through The Hub, and our ever-developing team, we are starting to see the fruits of many months of committed labour.

To see so many of the junior and senior athletes accessing our support and team of experts is a great source of pride to me.

We have an unbelievable team who are becoming well-trusted amongst the sporting community of coaches, club’s academies and schools, and this trust is earning us a small, but important place in their extended support team.

It’s actually even gone further than this, with individuals such as four-time Olympic coach, Dave Champion, offering his experience, knowledge and support to many of the events we are running.

Dave was of course coach to Karen Pickering, the world-class swimmer who was based in Ipswich, and his achievements with Karen and other top flight swimmers such as Zoe Cray, earned him a reputation and respect internationally.

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So, when Dave offered to attend our latest event and offer his support, it was an opportunity instantly accepted.

There are so many amazing projects within The Hub, and one I am very proud of is how our junior international athletes are now inspiring other juniors who look up to them.

We have so many junior internationals benefiting from The Hub’s sports science support and some of them joined us during a very special project this weekend.

(L-R) Nino Severino, Dave Champion and Wes Pooley. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA

(L-R) Nino Severino, Dave Champion and Wes Pooley. Picture: PAVEL KRICKA - Credit: Archant

From all my interaction with young athletes, a few areas of support that are requested continually jump out at me – nutrition, mental skills and the big one, strength and conditioning. It was this later component that the team at The Hub really wanted to deal with.

We wanted to create a resource that all young athletes could access, to identify strength and condition that would develop strength, speed, power and flexibility which would support their own individual sport specific development.

We wanted to specifically film every exercise ourselves, which would ensure the quality of resource and education for all the other young athletes to access.

And when we asked our young hub internationals for help, there was no hesitation.

The junior team we put together for this project was simply an outstanding group of athletes from some of the best academies in the Ipswich area.

The team included Veron Eze, GB international from Ipswich Basketball, Georgie Lawson from Evolution Karate Academy, and Charlie Harvey-Lloyd from Pipers Vale Gymnastics Club, both of whom are also GB internationals in their sports.

These three were joined by Josh Perkins from Martlesham Heath Squash Club, who has recently been called up for squad training by England Squash, and Ruby Hunt from Northgate Karate Club, who is one of the brightest karate stars of her age in Great Britain.

What was so incredible at this event was how well all the athletes worked together on this project – from Veron, who is simply a gargantuan athletic unit, all the way down to Ruby, who is almost half his size.

They had nothing in common through their specific chosen sport, but everything in common through their experience in sport.

We were all one big multi-sport family, and of course to have Dave attending and supporting the event, and our strength and conditioning expert Wez Pooley ensuring that everything was of the highest quality, made this experience a total sporting joy.

I could not wish for much more – coaches and athletes from different sports all coming together to create a valuable strength and conditioning resource, that will help thousands of young competitors, not only in our region, but nationally and internationally.

I am very proud to think that our young Ipswich athletes will be inspiring and motivating other young sportsmen and women around the globe,

All at The Hub want to have an impact locally, but also have an international influence – and with world class professionals such as Dave and Wez as part of this incredible journey, who would bet against us succeeding?

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