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Star in the making
Age: 17
Lives: Caterham, Surrey
Event: 800/1500m
Club: Crawley AC
A-levels studying: Psychology, Geography, Biology

Since her success at the Athens Olympics two years ago, Kelly Holmes began mentoring 13 young athletes to develop a new generation of athletic champions.

The girls have received expert coaching, endured the rigours of army camp training and competed in high level competitions.

Hannah Brooks has just returned from the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne on the latest Norwich Union project for On Camp with Kelly.

Hannah Brooks
2005 English Schools Senior 800m champion

Kelly Holmes is a lovely person - but she is tough!

Being part of the camp and spending time with her has been inspirational.

The motto of the camp is "just deal with it" and Kelly has taught us about coping with every situation thrown at you.

I was lucky enough to get through the selections in the races Kelly set up last summer, and after training with her and the army, four of us were chosen to go to Australia.

We went on loads of trips, helped teach athletics to juniors, had media training - but it was no holiday. We trained hard and experienced the highs and lows of a major championship.

You have to learn to deal with every situation and Kelly is preparing us for that
Hannah Brooks

We were taught about preparing for races, the training, living as an athlete and facing all the problems of a top professional.

We were put through a simulated trip to Russia. We had 40 minutes to pack, returned to the hotel and spent two days living on bad food and without our suitcases.

It was tough but was really interesting to see how important these little things can be, like having your spikes in your hand luggage or your laundry gear.

I coped OK but I won't be going to a championship ever again without toothpaste! It sounds minor but it can mean the difference between winning and losing.

Watching the Commonwealths was simply amazing and is something I want to be part of.

Everything about it was just huge, but Kelly said it was nothing compared to the Olympics.

Seeing Lisa Dobriskey win gold in the 1500m was inspirational. It highlighted what we are all aiming for and anything is achievable.

Kelly Holmes and Hannah Brooks
Kelly and Hannah enjoy the limelight

I have learnt a lot about myself and how to be more positive. Kelly has given us the idea of using quotes and thinking about things in different ways.

She has drummed in to us: "Winners never quit and quitters never win." I have a toe injury at the moment and it is times like these I have to stay positive on recovery.

This experience has shown how hard I'll have to work, be prepared to put everything else on hold and want it more than anybody to be at the top of the sport.

We've got to "live athletics". I'm prepared to give up a lot, such as meeting friends, and I'm happy to do that because I want to be the best.

Everybody wants to win the Olympics, but I mean it.

Athletics is a huge part of my life and my aim is gold at London 2012 or 2016. In the short term I want to at the Commonwealths in 2010.

I email Kelly quite a bit if I have a problem or need a second opinion on something.

In the meantime, she has told us that, although she is not our coach, she will always be there whenever we need her.


The pain of Kelly's boot camp
26 Oct 05 |  Photo Galleries
Kelly's boot camp
27 Oct 05 |  Athletics
Kelly Holmes on the perfect 800m
13 Dec 05 |  Get Involved

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