Only 10 days to go until we leave for the IAAF World Youth Championships in Lille, France and the whole Australian World Youth Team is extremely excited, but nervous at the same time about our competition in Lille. We all have just come back from our pre-departure camp in Townsville. It was a great trip that got us competing and getting to know each other a lot better

We had many seminars that educated us about recovery, nutrition, physiology and overseas travel and competition. It got us imagining our race and determining our goals. Everyone competed well, and got the feeling of racing in a hotter climate, similar to that of France. Personally, it got me re-accessing my options of training after flights and highlighted the importance of recovery.

I loved experiencing the ice bath after my competition, and lets say I struggled a bit more than most people! Some stayed in for up to 10 and 15 minutes. I stayed in for 8 minutes, shivering from head to toe. The access to physio massage 24/7 was fantastic also. Some got acupuncture, sometimes even in uncomfortable places haha, but it certainly helped them with recovery. The long distance athletes enjoyed going for training sessions out along the beach. The fresh air, the sound of waves and the peaceful atmosphere made it an enjoyable long run.

After most people had competed, watching fellow athletes achieving their pre-departure goals was enjoyment. Brandon and David got lots of fellow-team support, as they were one of the last events. Chloe and Sara’s 400m hurdles was also a highlight, they definitely had a big cheer squad. The 100m was also a great one to watch with Hugh, Jarrod and Jack all racing.

Our accommodation was fantastic! Our beds were comfortable and our rooms had fridges, cupboards, bathrooms, washing machines, microwaves… everything! And some groups enjoyed making there own food to eat for the day. We ate out for dinner every night, at a nice little restaurant overlooking the water. The food was buffet style, and most of us stuck to the advice we’d been given from the nutritionist, some couldn’t resist.

Getting our Australian uniforms was definitely a highlight; we all got incredibly thrilled when we got our Asics backpacks full of lovely green/yellow/white coloured Australian gear. It was like we’d never owned clothes before! We were all jumping about, taking photos and trying on every bit of uniform we’d been given.

Returning back home was difficult for some, with flights being delayed and cancelled due the volcano ash disaster. But we all eventually got home safely, with great memories and excitement about leaving to France in less than a month. We all bonded so well as a team, and are looking forward to enjoying the time we have in France together very soon.

Since then, preparation is going well, and with only 10 days until we leave, time has certainly flied. I still remember qualifying for the World Youth Team, with 3 months until France and I was jumping out of my skin, but it’s all gone so fast and with only 10 days to go I’m getting really excited about racing in France, but

definitely nervous also. It’s going to be a fantastic opportunity and getting to know Nicky Frey, Sara Maulkearns, Jodie and all the coaches at the Townsville camp made the team and I realise how lucky we are to have such a great support network coming with us to France.