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  • 28 April 2014 00:00
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Our Academy is a way to give back to the community says Paralympic icon Dave Weir

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Six-time Paralympic champion Dave Weir says that the Weir Archer Academy he set up last year alongside his long-term coach Jenny Archer offers the pair the chance to give back to the community.

The Academy based at Kingsmeadow Athletics Stadium in Surrey and open to people of all abilities, from club racers to elite athletes.

"Working with the Academy is something I really enjoy,” Weir told Community Sport Network.

"It gives Jenny and me the chance to give back to the community by helping others.
 
"We have got some of the top elite racers on our books like Shelly Woods (Britain’s three-time Paralympic medalist) and Mickey Bushell (Britain's London 2012 100m T53 Paralympic Champion) so it is great to work with them.
 
"But the Academy is not just for elite athletes, it is for people at all levels. We work with schools right across the South East and things are going really well.”

Weir was considering retirement immediately after the London 2012 Paralympics but has decided to continue as an elite racer after storming to four gold medals at the Games. 

He is now focused on adding to his glittering medal collection, which also includes six World Championship gold medals and six London Marathon titles, first at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and then at the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

"For 2014, competing at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow is a big thing for me.

I have never raced at the Commonwealth Games before so it would be amazing for me to wear the England vest and represent Team England,” he said.

"With the Commonwealth Games being in Scotland, it will feel like a home Games for the athletes and it is always special to compete in front of a home crowd.

"In the long-term, it is my intention to compete at the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

"Rio has always been at the back of my mind ever since London 2012 so it is a big goal for me to be there.”

The 34-year-old from London is unsure as to whether or not he will retire after Rio 2016 but says when he does finally bring down the curtain on his elite wheelchair racing career, he would like to get into coaching and doing more work with his Academy.

"Yes I do see myself going into coaching once I have retired,” he said.

"I really enjoy the bits I do with the Academy. 

"It has been nice for me to mentor everyone at a different level and to work with the youngsters that come along.”

To read the full exclusive "Catch-Up” with Dave Weir, Click Here 
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