Alpine’s Rac(H)er Programme hosted a test and training camp last month in collaboration with the University’s SportsLab.

The camp ran as a continuation of the driver’s development provided as part of their participation in the Alpine Rac(H)er Programme. Collaborating with the BWT Alpine F1 Team, SportsLab provided a series of tailored test and training workshops for four young drivers.

Launched in 2022, the Rac(H)er programme promotes the inclusion of women within the Alpine teams, from technical functions to racing, deconstructing prejudices and changing corporate culture by encouraging gender equality. On the circuit, Rac(H)er identifies, recruits and accompanies promising young women towards victory with a commitment to winning on merit.

Running over two days, the camp was attended by Rac(H)er drivers Lisa Billard (14, France), Lizzy Mentier (14, UK), Angelina Proenca (14, France) and Sukhmani Khera (12, UK).

As part of the camp, the drivers participated in various test and training sessions focused on performance profiling, strength and conditioning, and endurance and power training, as well as activities aimed at improving their team building, problem solving and cognitive skills.

Girl on bike with breathing mask

Over the two days, the Rac(H)er drivers also took part in two expert-led workshops. Senior Consultant at SportsLab, Beatriz Pastora Linares led a nutrition workshop on energy and hydration, as well as a session discussing the impact of the menstrual cycle on training and performance. Whilst, Dr Katie Dray, Performance Coach at SportsLab and Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology and Life Sciences at the University, led a sports psychology session, which focused on confidence building and successful mindset.

The training camp ran as a continuation of the Rac(H)er Programme’s testing which has seen its drivers provided with physical, physiological, and mental testing and training to aid in their develop both on and off-track.

Immersing our Rac(H)er drivers into another professional athletic setting with Canterbury Christ Church University’s SportsLab was a fantastic opportunity for the Programme and its athletes. The event allowed us to undertake athletic profiling, introduce them to other professional training strategies, and provide them with educational workshops in various areas of professional sport, all with the aim to help equip our drivers and provide support to further their knowledge and empower their own individual performances. They can now take everything they learned to use in their training, preparation, and completion elements.

Dave Thompson, Head of Human Performance at BWT Alpine F1 Team
Girl testing stretch capacity with SportsLab technician

It has been an absolute delight having the Alpine Rac(H)er team visit us at SportsLab, where we have been working with the girls to help improve their performance across a number of different areas of sport science.

Dan Stretch, SportsLab Manager
Girl testing reactions in front of a reaction wall, hitting lights as they light-up

Proper hydration and understanding the menstrual cycle are crucial for young female athletes. The nutrition session aimed to educate the drivers on effective hydration strategies including a practical on how to make their own sport drinks, along with an open discussion about the menstrual cycle and its impact on performance.

Beatriz Pastora Linares, Senior Consultant in Sports Nutrition at SportsLab
Four girls stretching leg muscles

In exploring the mental skills required for peak performance, the session looked at confidence as a key component of a success mindset, which can be especially useful for young female athletes. Through hands on activities the drivers created a ‘confidence pocket’ to remind them of their accomplishments to date and build a version of their most confident self.

Dr Katie Dray, Performance Coach at SportsLab and Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology and Life Sciences

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