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PRESS RELEASE 5 July, 2004

Elite MotorSport Academy - Class of 2004



18 year old Massey University student Sara Randall was one of 10 rising rally and race stars hand-picked for the 2004 Elite MotorSport

Academy held in Dunedin last week.

 

MotorSport NZ sourced applications from all competition licence holders under the age of 25 years. The resulting selection process culminated

in the successful participants attending the week long Academy, which MotorSport NZ believes to be the first dedicated motorsport academy in

the world.  They were put through some of the most advanced physical and psychometric testing labs in the southern hemisphere and the

young drivers were subjected to a comprehensive battery of performance tests.

 

In today's motorsport world, a driver has to be a whole package and its important to learn new skills because driving the car is only a small

part of the total package required.  The Academy taught the 10 up and coming drivers the dimensions and information required to achieve at

the top level of athleticism and they found that in today's market, driving the car is the easy part! The course covered nutritional advice,

musculo-skeletal and optometrist visits, sports psychology, fitness, sponsorship, media skills, heat tolerance testing and included instruction

on rules of their sport."One of the many things I loved was that it was tailored to us, tailored for rally and race drivers.  Usually when you go

to a specialist they have no idea what is needed for a rally/race driver but everything at the academy has been well researched and thought

out to suit us individually."

 

"I've just had the most valuable experience in my life" said Sara "I learnt so much, pushed myself mentally and physically, and I know it's going

to help me be a much better athlete"

 

"We've already made huge changes in our life as a family" explains Sara. "We spent two hours at the supermarket on the weekend, checking

labels for carbohydrate, fat and protein content". This is particularly important, as Sara, being only 45kg, needs to ensure her food intake will

give her the endurance she needs to compete in her rallies as there isn't much in reserve!

 

Sara has also realised her fitness programme has been lacking. "I've been going to a gym, but doing all the wrong things! Our trainer at the

Academy showed us which parts of our body we have to work on in order to become a better driver. He also said our programme should be

constantly changing as we change, and it doesn't have to be boring, you can make it fun".

 

The sports psychology session was extremely interesting and showed the youngsters they need balance in their lives to become top athletes.

"As a student, this isn't going to be an easy task for me. It's hard to be able to take time off when you have assignments due, exams to study

for - plus a rally team to run. However, I now feel I have coping skills which can help me place things where they need to be placed"

 

Whilst the students have many things to work on, of the most immediate importance to Sara is that of gaining further sponsorship. The

Academy made her realise how much she can offer a potential sponsor, "I'm not afraid to say that my youth and gender make me an ideal

marketing tool and through extensive media training, I can get my sponsors message across at all times."

 

One of the highlights of Sara's week was the heat simulator.  "It was great, we got all geared up in our usual rallying equipment, they put all

sorts of sensors on us and put us where we love it best - in a racing situation", a 40 degree Celsius heat chamber was used to simulate racing

conditions. That, along with a rally seat, steering wheel and peddles and the addition of a computer simulated race game they drove for

20minutes in the heat.  "They then put an ice vest and a cooling helmet on us, and gave us another 20 minute session and monitored how we

changed in these conditions.  It was fascinating analysing the results and I could feel a significant difference in myself with the changes".

 

The ten students will be monitored and mentored for a further two years. They plan to keep in touch with each other, with some hoping to

attend others events to support them.  Sara says she has found new confidence, "I feel so much better equipped, I now feel like a complete

package and am more confident in what I'm doing.  Sure there are things to work on, but like anyone who wants to achieve to a high level, I

love it when others can find a fault in me, it means I can be better next time out, that's a huge buzz!"

 

"I owe an extreme debt of gratitude toward  all the organisers, sponsors and those involved in the 2004 Elite MotorSport Academy, especially

Motorsport New Zealand and the New Zealand Academy of Sport South Island. It was an amazing experience which has changed my life

forever".

 

Sara and her team are now heading off for the International Rally of Rotorua on 9-10th July, which involves 2 full days of reconnaisance prior

to two days of competition.

 

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