Nuffield Health opens its doors to GB speed skaters in Olympic year

GB Short Squad outside Nuffield Health NottinghamNuffield Health Fitness & Wellbeing Centre Nottingham is to provide some of Britain’s brightest medal hopes for the Sochi Winter Olympics with a boost on their way to the Games, by opening up its leading health and well-being facilities to the GB Short Track Speed Skating Squad.

The sixteen-strong squad, who are based at the National Ice Centre, are to enjoy the benefits of Nuffield Health Fitness & Wellbeing Centre Nottingham in the hope that it will help them relax, recover and refocus between competitions, and give them a winning edge ahead of an Olympic year.

Performance Director of GB Short Track Stuart Horsepool said: “We are very grateful to Nuffield Health for letting the skaters use their facilities. Short track speed skating is a very intense sport that is won and lost by the smallest margins, so recovery between competitions will make all the difference when the season starts in September.

“It’s also a physiological boost for the team knowing that they use some of the best health and well-being facilities Nottingham has to offer. The centre is ideal for the athletes needs and will give them the best possible chance to achieve their goals this season, whether it be qualifying for the Europa Cup Final or reaching an Olympic final in Sochi.”

Among those athletes who will benefit from access to Nuffield Health Fitness & Wellbeing Centre Nottingham are Elise Christie, who finished last season ranked world number 1 over 1000-metres, and two-time Olympian Jon Eley, who competed at both the 2006 Games in Turin and the 2010 Games in Vancouver.

Helen Walker, General Manager at Nuffield Health Fitness & Wellbeing Centre Nottingham, said: “It’s very exciting to be able to provide support for some of the world’s top competitors in an Olympic year. We are delighted that GB Short Track chose Nuffield Health Fitness & Wellbeing Centre Nottingham and we are looking forward to following them on their Olympic journey.”

Former Junior World 1000m Champion Jack Whelbourne is hoping to be among those athletes who qualify for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, having previously competed at the 2010 Games in Vancouver. The Nottingham born skater said:

“It’s great to have access to some of the best facilities in the UK in my hometown. Nuffield will be a big advantage to me and the team this year as we attempt to qualify the biggest short track team a Winter Olympics has ever seen from Team GB.

“Nuffield will certainly help by providing a relaxed environment for the team. Better recovery means we can give that bit extra in training, which will make all the difference in competition, so we really appreciate their support.”

The2013/14 competitive seasons kicks off in just over a month with the Holland Invitation Cup on 31 August, shortly followed by the first ISU World Cup in Shanghai on 26-29 September. Last season, the squad won a total of twelve international medals, including Britain’s first ever individual female medal at the World Short Track Speed Skating Championships.

Horsepool added: “The squad have shown improvements year on year since the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver and we have an exceptional support team behind them at the National Performance Centre. Nuffield Health is the icing on the cake and will definitely benefit the athletes in what is going to be a challenging but exciting season for them. “

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