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Visit by Harry Gillam GB Aerial Skier 17 November 2012

Blackburn Youth zone was thrilled to welcome British Aerial Skiing athlete Harry
Gillam, 21, through its doors this month. Harry joined the Gym Training Club during
a special workshop which looked at training and gave the guys a chance to talk to
Harry about what he has to do in his training.

Harry has being training and competing in Aerial skiing for the past 5 years and
this year will start the World Cup circuit and is targeting selection for Sochi Olympic games 2014.

What is Aerial Skiing? Harry tells us:
“Aerial Skiing combines skiing abilities with acrobatic skills – and to train I can often
be found on a trampoline! So when I found out about The Blackburn Youth Zone I
was really keen to visit and support the young people getting started in sports and
met another awesome group of young people.

As the youth zone here is still developing they haven’t managed to get a trampoline
club up and running yet but we will work with them to make it happen. So… no
big deal, as this centre has so much to offer the young people of Blackburn and it
was hard to choose what to join in with; eventually chose to help in the fitness gym
offering the senior youngsters the chance to ‘train with an athlete’ on their home
patch.

Just to be with the young people encouraging them to use fitness to improve all
aspects of their lives is great; being able to talk to them and listen to their stories and
support them in making a start in fitness and sports, which will help to change their
lives is so worthwhile. These young people deserve opportunities and the chance to
try as many different sports as they can and its great that top of their list of ‘want to
do’ is to learn to ski. We will help link them up with skiing and snowboarding as soon
as we can. At this centre they have state of the art facilities for music and media as
well as sports and an amazing group of volunteers and staff who put so much time
into this place, just so the kids have more activities and sports to choose from!

I was given a tour of the centre by a Young Leader called Nathan, which was
inspirational in itself; he is so tuned into what the centre can do for the youngsters
and is learning leadership skills already.

I joined the gym coach Cheick for the senior session and had a great time, making
new friends and hopefully putting a different face on fitness and training for them all.
Helping to deliver the message that fitness is for everyone; take it easy and don’t try
to rush the exercises but enjoy them. Helping them to understand that they will feel
the difference if they work hard in the sessions, listen to the coach and get into the
gym twice in a week on a regular basis.

During the session I met a young aspiring athlete, Tom Nutley who comes to the
Youth Zone but is also training in Figure Skating and targeting the 2018 Olympics.
Good luck with your training and competitions Tom! Hope that you make it.

I enjoyed all the time I had there and will be back again after the winter and hope to
see their trampoline club up and running and the guys in the gym fitter and stronger.
A special shout out to Ish (Activity Youth Leader) and Nathan and Tayyib (Young
Leaders).

Blackburn Youth Zone rocks! Thanks for the invite. Remember ‘Sport can Change
Lives!’”