Island stars enjoying appliance of science

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Since working with the NatWest Island Games team, who this year topped the medal table in Rhodes, Sutton has remained involved with Jersey and now works with between 45 and 50 athletes.

‘David did some work during the Island Games and it was discussed with several sports the opportunity of continuing that,’ explained assistant director of ESC, Derek de la Haye.

‘He’s now coming back on a monthly basis for a week at a time under the umbrella of Education, Sport, and Culture, and has been employed for a trial period of 6-8 months.

‘After that time we’ll see the results and also see if people like the idea but currently he is working with individuals, small groups of people and teams based around strength and conditioning training.

He will also work with Jersey’s John Scriven and Peter Irving as they are qualified in sports science and will be getting involved in some of the sessions.’

The sports who are currently working with Sutton include swimming, volleyball, table tennis, shooting, triathlon and rugby.

‘I’m only three months in but we’re just starting to see the first results of improvements coming through,’ said Sutton.

‘We’re slowly educating the athletes and coaches, developing a structure and in six months we’ll expect to see a little bit more improvement, then after a year even more, and so on.

‘There isn’t a national or elite programme without this type of support, it’s a crucial area, and now we have the chance to create a long term programme with enough time to analyse data, research the sports, and experiment a bit more than we could during the lead-up to the Island Games.’

De la Haye added that although it has not been viable for every sport to get involved in the programme, there is the opportunity for the training to be expanded to include more athletes, with cricket currently in talks to become involved.

‘It has clearly been proven that one of the things that improves performance is strength and conditioning,’ said De la Haye.

‘Offering this training in Jersey will mean that people are going to be better prepared to perform at their level.

‘If people put the work in this can be something that can improve performance by five or ten per cent.

If we can increase the swimmers by one per cent that’s a significant enough amount that can be the difference between winning or qualifying for an event.

‘The people David is working with have been identified by the sports themselves as people who are inspired to achieve at a high level.

David and the coaches will now be looking at a programme to move them on to the next level.’

Sutton, who has also worked with professional football teams including Middlesbrough and Northampton FC, added: ‘Jersey’s always punched above their weight in developing athletes across many sports because of the good coaching and facilities.

‘Hopefully this will allow a few more athletes to get to this level because there’s no limit to success as long as you can work at it.’

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