Wrexham Glyndwr University students will be looking forward to propelling a teenage gymnast towards the Commonwealth Games thanks to a new partnership.
The Sports Science department at the university is teaming up with the Olympus Gymnastics Club in Llay, to provide help and support to elite athlete Jacob Edwards.
It is a key time for the development of the 18 year-old as he targets a spot in Great Britain’s team for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham next year.
Jacob trains at the gym under the guidance of his father Paul Edwards, and they have welcomed the additional support which is forthcoming thanks to the link-up with the university.
Julian Ferrari, the university’s lead for Sport, Health and Performance Science, and Lecturer in Sport Performance Analysis and Sports Coaching, says it is a partnership which will benefit all parties.
“The partnership first came about with the gym director getting in touch with the university seeing if there was any sports science support available and obviously we were keen to work with a local athlete, so it was a perfect opportunity to collaborate”, he said.
“We look at Jacob the athlete holistically, and we’re trying to look at every aspect of his performance to see if we can help Jacob and Paul qualify for the Games next summer.
“The students will get involved around September, October time. We’re just setting out the parameters we’ll be working within, and what we can offer Jacob.
“We’re looking at it from all disciplines of Sports Science, from Performance Analysis, Strength and Conditioning with Nutrition in there as well. We’ve already had Jacob come along to the university for some body composition measurements using some of the equipment we have got.
“The last stage will be to introduce some Sports Psychology to try and keep Jacob on track and better manage opportunities as they come along really.”
Julian added: “The team is really energized about the whole thing really, being able to work ‘hands-on’ with an athlete who is an elite athlete, not just grassroots, and who is vying for a place in those Commonwealth Games.
“We’re trying to bring it all together, offer assistance where we can.”
Jacob’s father Paul says added: “We’re in the early stages but it is benefiting Jacob very well, I see it working well in future, I think it will be really good for everybody, ourselves, the students and the university.”
Pictured: Teenage gymnast Jacob Edwards is working with Wrexham Glyndwr University Sports Science students as he targets a place at the Commonwealth Games.