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Great athletes to grace sports conference

Dame Kelly Holmes (right) is an inspiration to young athletes throughout the country through her charity the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust.

TWO OF Britain’s greatest athletes is visiting Shetland in October as part of the islands inaugural sports conference.

Middle distance runner and Olympic medallist Dame Kelly Holmes will be a headline speaker at the Shetland Sports Conference in Lerwick’s Clickimin Leisure Complex on 3 October.

The conference will also welcome multiple medal winning Paralympic cyclist and author Karen Darke, who is in the Team GB cycling squad for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Paralympic medal winner Karne Darke

Shetland Islands Council convener Malcolm Bell said he was delighted such inspirational figures were coming to Shetland for the conference.

“This will be an outstanding opportunity for our sports people, of all ages and abilities, to rub shoulders with the very cream of UK sport and sports coaching,” he said, adding that the visits were thanks to  financial support from government agency sportscotland.

He also warned that demand for places would be high and urged people to avoid disappointment by booking early.

The Shetland Sports Conference will also host a number of focused courses, workshops and talks by other leading figures within sport.

Representatives from a wide range of sports governing bodies including Scottish Football, Scottish Swimming, Badminton Scotland, Scottish Squash, Scottish Disability Sport and sportscotland Institute of Sport will be delivering a full range of coach and player development sessions, aimed at supporting clubs and individuals within Shetland.

Phil Moreland, Head of Strength and Performance Conditioning with sportscotland’s Institute of Sport will lead a number of bespoke sessions concerning preparation and conditioning for competition.

The conference will also see the launch of a Shetland-based coach development initiative, Coach Connect, which is a partnership between sportscotland, Shetland Islands Council, sports governing bodies and sports coaches in Shetland.

This initiative includes activities designed to support the development of sports coaches through specific workshops.

Local organisations will also be offering essential workshops for clubs at the conference.

SIC grant specialist Michael Duncan will present a ‘must attend’ session for sports clubs, focusing upon the new landscape for funding in Shetland.

Voluntary Action Shetland will provide what promises to be a popular workshop looking at how sports clubs can effectively and safely use social media to promote their activities.

SIC sport and leisure executive manager Neil Watt said the conference would build on Shetland’s sporting successes this year, including the achievements at this year’s Island Games in Jersey.

He said it aimed to “develop Shetland’s sporting potential for the future with a specific focus on athletes, clubs and young people”.

The conference programme has been designed to allow all delegates to hear both guest speakers and attend workshops of their choosing throughout the day.

Included within the ticket price of £10 are refreshments and a buffet lunch.

Booking is essential, and will be available from Wednesday 19 August 2015 by phoning 01595 744006.

The full programme can be found at www.shetland.gov.uk/sport_and_leisure/ssc2015.asp

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