Inspiring the next generation of ELITE athletes

Loughborough University and the Laurus Trust have joined forces as part of a ground-breaking initiative that aims to support the sporting stars of the future.

The Trust’s ELITE Pathway aims to support talented students to thrive and excel in the sporting arena while being fully supported in their academic achievements.

Talented athletes from across the six state secondary schools which make up the Laurus Trust have the opportunity to work with high-level coaches and receive expert support in sport psychology, nutrition, strength and conditioning, rehab and video analysis.

The 5-year partnership will also provide GCSE and A Level students with a practical understanding of their physical education curriculum. 

Visiting Loughborough University campus allows Laurus students to gain a hands on insight of their curriculum by seeing firsthand how biomechanics, VO2 Max testing and sport technology are being used in the sports sector.  

We wanted to collaborate with the best University in the world for sport-related subjects, to inspire our students through access to world-leading expertise, facilities, and opportunities. Our work is unashamedly aspirational, we want to inspire our students to achieve success whether as athletes or professionals within the sport industry. The Laurus Trust and the Law Family Educational Trust have ambitions to level the playing field in terms of the imbalance in independent and state education, having a partnership with Loughborough University shows how serious we are about this.

Ed Haslam, Trust Director of Sporting Excellence, Laurus Trust

Our impact

Our partnership with the Laurus Trust exposes state school students to a plethora of elite sporting opportunities and programmes. 

The partnership aims to prepare students to flourish both in sport performance and academic studies. The exposure to university life, facilities and opportunities allow us to raise aspirations and potentially recruit the next generation of Loughborough elite athletes and students.

Our initiative with the Laurus Trust allows a widening of participation for students from a variety of backgrounds, as well as building a relationship with and informing our own PGCE students.

The partnership has already seen around 500 students visit our campus, with GCSE and A Level groups experiencing the unique activities delivered by academic and research staff at the top of their fields.

This spring, the Trust will hold their first overnight visit in the Elite Athlete Hotel, giving the students the opportunity to experience all that the university campus, and expert facilities, has to offer.

Campus activity

The Loughborough sport and Laurus Trust partnership, affords students from Laurus trust schools the opportunity to come to Loughborough university for a series of unique showcases of the Loughborough elite athlete experience. 


Nutrition activity is led by Head Performance Chef Varun Shivdasani. Students partake in making either a fuelling or recovery one-pot meal in teams.

Students answer a series of nutrition related questions to be able to access the cooking station with the first team to complete their one-pot meal winning.

The sessions end with a Q&A opportunity for students to ask anything food or nutrition related, particularly with reference to their sport.

Strength and Conditioning

Strength and Conditioning activity is led by former Wasps performance director, now Head of Performance Services at Loughborough, Cormac Ryan.

This ranges from taking part in sessions in the new Powerbase Gym, one of the world's largest elite strength and conditioning environments, to getting the chance to use high level strength and power diagnostic tools such as Vald ForceDecks.

The sessions are designed in line with the demands of the different sports that Laurus Trust students partake in, and in line with the GCSE and A-Level curriculums, to support the students Physical Education learning objectives, and provide real world context to the theory that they study.


Students are introduced to biomechanics in a sporting technology environment with Human Movement Specialist Prof Mark King.

The students take part in a practical, applied session giving a first-hand, interactive experience of working in a technology lab, as well as gaining the visibility of all aspects of biomechanics. Students also have the opportunity for an extensive Q&A session with the experts running the session.

VO2 Max

VO2 Max sessions are experienced first-hand by physical education GCSE and A Level students partaking in the experiment. This is particularly useful in bringing to life the theory they are writing about in their examination and in giving them real world examples of fitness testing.  

This hands-on experience benefits students both in the classroom, but also during the practical elements of their course. Students collect and analyse the data throughout the experiment, allowing a clear connection and correlation with the activity and physical education syllabus.

Meet the experts

We are open to offer a similar experience and collaborate with other schools. Get in touch with the team if you would like to do so.


Dr Ash Casey

Reader in Physical Education and Pedagogy


Prof Mark King

Professor of Sports Biomechanics


Cormac Ryan

Head of Performance Services


Varun Shivdasani

Head Performance Chef