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Mentoring Essential to Athletics Success

The first ever study to investigate the benefits of an educational mentoring programme found that 80% of the athletes mentored by Dame Kelly Holmes through the ‘On Camp with Kelly’ initiative, with the support of Aviva, had better performance results than their counterparts.

In addition, qualitative research by Dr Anna Waters, a leading sport psychologist, found six key ways in which ‘On Camp with Kelly’ has been supporting athletes since 2004 and contributing to their success. From this Dr Waters identified a six step mentoring model that has a direct impact on athlete performance and could provide a template for future sports mentoring programmes and a legacy post London 2012.

The six steps include one-to-one mentoring from Dame Kelly, support, preparation, education, long term regular contact and injury management. The research revealed that they lead to improvements in athletes’ confidence, self belief, race knowledge, motivation, concentration, persistence and competitiveness, which results in improved performance.

The benefits of this six step mentoring process have been demonstrated by the recent success of ‘On Camp with Kelly’ athlete Hannah England who won a silver medal in the 1500m at the 2011 IAAF World Championships.

Dr Waters has also extrapolated the six step athletics mentoring model into real life skills and developed a corresponding version for health and fitness suitable for all ages and abilities.

Click here to read more about the Six Step Mentoring Model
Click here to read how the Six Steps can be applied to an everyday health and fitness regime
Click here to read about OCWK Athlete Performance Results

2009 Research

In February 2009 Aviva commissioned Dr Anna Waters, a BPS chartered performance psychologist from Chrianna Consultants, to undertake some research on ‘The Kelly Effect’ and the impact of ‘On Camp with Kelly’.

The research examined the following areas:

  • Performance of OCWK athletes
  • Improvements in women’s performance in the 800m and 1500m compared with the men’s performances from 2000 to 2008
  • Retaining athletes in sport - comparisons of OCWK athletes and non OCWK athletes
  • GB Women’s results at the European Cross Country Championships


Click here to download OCWK Research Results 1
Click here to download OCWK Research Results 2


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