Airdrie Aces welcome Olympic hurdler Sarah Wells
Thursday, Apr 20, 2017 06:00 am
The Airdrie Aces Athletic Club is set for an Olympic meet-and-greet when Olympian Sarah Wells makes her way to Airdrie during the weekend of April 21.
Wells is being brought in by the Aces to not only help with a training session in preparation of the fast-approaching outdoor track and field season, but will also serve as inspiration for the athletes in hopes of helping them focus on their goals and never letting their dreams go.
“From the club perspective, bringing an Olympian in is important because she has achieved what so many of the athletes hope to achieve,” Aces president Jodie Matsuba-Szucs said. “It’s inspirational, but there is a bigger picture in terms of her resiliency and what she stands for.
“She stands for everything that our club is about. We are a competitive club and yes, we want our kids to do to the best of their abilities and achieve whatever goal they have.”
Prior to the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London, England, Wells suffered a stress fracture on her left femur and was forced out of action for nine months. Despite having her Olympic dream in question, the hurdler made a swift recovery and still managed to crack Canada’s team for the Olympic games in 2012, where she finished 24th in the 400-metre hurdles event.
“Sarah’s goal (of) going to the Olympics was huge,” Matsuba-Szucs said. “When she broke her femur, she was told she would never run competitively again and was told to quit. She chose not to accept that and believed she could come back from that (injury) and she did.”
The purpose of having Wells speak to and train the Aces’ athletes is to not only give them the chance to train with an Olympic-level athlete, but to also show the young athletes there are ways to bounce back after emotional lows in their careers.
“There is going to be more downs than ups,” Matsuba-Szucs said. “As long as you keep plugging away, you are going to get stronger and better. Every person’s goals are different, short-term and long-term.”
Wells and the Aces coaching staff are also looking to promote positive behavior outside of track and field.
“If you’re disciplined in track and field, you’re going to be disciplined in the other areas in your life,” Matsuba-Szucs said. “We’re making successful people here, we’re not just making athletes.”
Prior to her session with the Aces athletes April 22, Wells will also make a pair of stops at two of Airdrie’s schools to speak to students about how resiliency and belief does not only affect how athletes are motivated, but how students can be inspired to never give up on their dreams.
“We’re not just talking about someone becoming an athlete. Maybe these kids want to become a coach, teacher or doctor,” Matsuba-Szucs said. “It’s still requires dedication and work. It’s a different type of training, but it still requires that whole dedication. The point is that all kids can become something.”
Wells will be visiting Good Shepherd School April 21 for a morning session with Grade 6 to 8 students and will later head to Our Lady Queen of Peace Elementary to speak with students in the same grades in the afternoon.