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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
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
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
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
Motorsport New Zealand and the New Zealand Academy
of Sport South Island. It was an amazing experience which has changed
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
to two days of competition.
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