Chi sailing starlet is backed by Dame

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SHE’s known for her athletics prowess and not her talent on the water – but that hasn’t stopped Dame Kelly Holmes throwing her weight behind Chichester sailing starlet Stephanie Orton’s bid for success.

Orton is one of the young UK sporting stars under the wing of the Jaguar Academy of Sport, who kicked off 2013 with a two-day residential for the rising stars on their bespoke mentoring and education programme delivered by Dame Kelly (below).

The University of Warwick hosted a series of workshops about coping with injury and planning for success, with the added inspiration of listening to words of advice from three of Britain’s leading sports stars.

Patron Dame Kelly and ambassadors David Roberts and Mark Foster joined the Rising Stars to share their experiences and provide professional advice and support.

The stars took part in circuit training with Dame Kelly and considered the mental and physical aspects of coping with injury as well as a goal-setting workshop.

Dame Kelly said: “It was great to talk to the Academy’s rising stars again and share their experiences, good and bad, in the early stages of their sporting careers.

“After 2012 being such a memorable year for British sport, we hope to build on the amazing inspiration that touched every young athlete and provide a high quality education and mentoring experience. I feel so passionately about the benefits of mentoring and education to long-term performance and learning as an athlete, which is why I’m delighted to run the unique mentoring and education programme with my team on behalf of the Academy.”

Orton said: “I’ve really enjoyed the workshops and definitely learnt a lot. To have a circuit training session with Dame Kelly Holmes has been fantastic and not an opportunity that comes around every day. It’s a great fitness tool and I’ll definitely continue to use it in my training.”

Orton has had some great successes recently including, with sailing partner Vikki Payne, being the first female

home at the final of the EuroCup Series. The pair took the gold medal by being awarded first all-female team in the 2012 29er EuroCup Championship Series.

Orton and Payne also competed at the 29er inland championships at Grafham Water where they retained the Ovington Inlands Ladies Champs, being first ladies and fourth overall out of the 76-strong fleet.

The pair competed in the Bloody Mary Race, part of the Sailjuice series at Queen Mary reservoir, London, and they were 35th out of 338 entries and retained the first ladies’ trophy.

The Jaguar Academy of Sport aims to recognise, celebrate and inspire the best of British sporting talent and success.