Former Saracens Women coach Harry Waine is part of the Team England Futures programme
Strength and conditioning guru Harry Waine says his rugby expertise can propel powerlifting to the next level ahead of the Paris Paralympic Games.
The former Saracens Women coach, from Spalding, is studying for his Masters in strength and conditioning at Loughborough University - which has seen him get involved with the powerlifting team based on his university campus.
Having got on board with the team, he has been selected to be a part of the Team England futures programme this summer, which will see more than 1,000 talented young athletes and aspiring support staff given the opportunity to attend the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, watch live sporting action and take a first-hand look behind the scenes.
And the opportunity to get involved is something that Waine is very grateful for.
“It’s incredibly exciting to be involved, I’ve not particularly been involved in many Commonwealth, Olympic or Paralympic events before,” he said, speaking at a Team England Futures Immersion Camp in Loughborough where athletes and support staff had the chance to meet each other, visit Kitting Out and experience workshop sessions on topics such as working with the media, mental well-being and anti-doping.
“So it’s a very new experience to be called in and get to experience what it is to be in a multi-national games.
“There are a lot of new things to pick up and then be able to take out to different sports and different experiences – I think that’s the main thing.”
The Team England Futures programme seeks to better prepare athletes to deliver medal-winning performances as either Team England, Team GB or ParalympicsGB debutants at future Games - while also giving support staff a first-hand look at the opportunities they could be presented with, as well as challenges they may face, at a multi-sport competition.
Waine has been picking up a lot of new tips through his inclusion in the scheme, learning the key differences between how to approach training for rugby and para powerlifting.
He said: “I’ve learned a lot to be honest with soft skills of coaching, and this is my first involvement in para sport, so obviously that’s opened my eyes to that sort of experience, and then understanding the nuances, or getting to understand the nuances.
“For rugby it’s competitions every weekend, and then a build-up to a big play-off at the end of the year.
“Obviously this is something that comes round every four years, so how you prepare for that is obviously going to be very different.
“It’s almost a once in a lifetime shot for a lot of these athletes and the lucky ones who go to multiple Games, so it’s got to be very carefully considered, but it’s pretty cool to be part of that.”
Commonwealth Games England has appointed SportsAid to lead on the development, management and operational delivery of Team England Futures at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
You can find out more about the programme by visiting www.sportsaid.org.uk/partnerships/team-england-futures/