The Lensbury is very proud and delighted to be supporting a host of Olympic hopefuls. We have taken part in the Olympic Passport Scheme for several years now, facilitating the training of some of our country’s top athletes. We are pleased to say that some of these athletes have already been selected to represent Great Britain at the London Games this summer.
One such person is Kayaking gold medalist and Olympic 2012 hopeful, Tim Brabants.
Tim was recently interviewed at our Watersports Centre for the BBC programme, “Olympic Dreams”, which will feature Tim, who won the Olympic gold medal back in 2008 in the 1000m sprint kayaking event, has been a member of The Lensbury for almost two years and is a regular visitor with his young family. Water sports are a key feature of what The Lensbury offers its members and visitors, both for leisure and teambuilding. The Watersports Centre offers sailing, kayaking, canoeing and motor boats as well as fun activities such as raft building and dragon boat racing.
Another top athlete who regularly uses The Lensbury is marathon runner Mara Yamauchi. Mara and Paula Radcliffe are the only female athletes that have already been selected to represent Great Britain in the marathon event.
Mara has been training at our facilities, with her coach and husband Shigetoshi, for almost a year now. On talking to her recently, Mara’s training has been going very well, and she is hoping to target a finishing time of under 2 hours and 23 minutes. This time would have gained Mara a gold medal at the last Olympics and set a new Olympic record!
Mara trains at The Lensbury three times a week and in her own words, ‘We love training here. The Lensbury has fantastic facilities and it’s such a lovely atmosphere. The staff are very friendly and we greatly appreciate the support.’
Mara is now entering the “business” part of her training over the next few months, where she aims to quicken her pace through some intensive speed work. After that, it’s all about maintaining the muscle adaptations, staying injury free and tapering her training down to the big day.
Other athletes we are supporting are canoe racers Jessica Walker, Tom Hide, Dean Terry, Guy Standeven, Canoe Coach Paul Darby-Dowman, and our very own Watersports Centre Instructor and Members’ Reception Assistant, Robert Beer!
Robert, Tom and Guy train as a group at the Lockside gym once a week. They do fitness endurance on our cardio vascular machines, mainly using bikes and treadmills. They do interval work, where bouts of high intensity work are followed by active rest periods. They are currently in preparation mode for their first regatta of the season in mid April. Then, monthly regattas thereafter, peaking in July, where one of the group will go forward to the Olympics.
This canoe team loves the openness of the space at The Lensbury and are particularly impressed with the cleanliness of the gym machines!
We are also supporting tennis hopeful Ross Hutchins, who is a tennis doubles specialist, world top ranked, who played in the Davis Cup team recently, beating Slovakia. Furthermore, when he is not training we are hoping that Ross will turn out occasionally for the Lensbury 1st team, as long as he gets Hilary’s approval!!
Everyone here at The Lensbury wishes all our athletes the very best! Go on and bring home the gold!!
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