By Gareth Bennett
Matt Beck is currently dominating the British sailing scene. Matt, who went to St. Mary’s School in Hereford, is now at Hereford Sixth Form College focusing on BTEC sport, geography and business studies. He first discovered sailing when he was 12 years old and went to an outdoor pursuits weekend with friends, and has been hooked ever since. He entered his first competition in the south-west region aged 13 and finished 3rd, a great achievement for his first ever race.
It wasn’t long before Matt was on the radar of Great Britain Sailing, and at 14 he was selected for the GB intermediate squad. A year after that he made it into the GB national squad.
Matt regularly makes the long trip with his boat to Weymouth to take part in GB sailing training camps, where he hones his skills and techniques on the water. With the support of his national governing body and his parents Andy and Ursula, he placed 8th in the World Championships at the age of 16.
By the time he celebrated his 17th birthday, he was two time national champion and had competed all over the world with top three finishes in his class.
Matt is currently racing in the Laser Class Sailing League, but is about to upgrade his boat to the WASZP class, which is a hydrofoil boat, and
a lot quicker through the water. With the skills he has gained over the past seven years, Matt will be a force to be reckoned with!
From a trainer’s perspective:
Matt is a pleasure to coach as he already has a winner’s mentality in him, so when I set him challenges in the gym, he goes for it. Some of the issues Matt has with his body is tightness throughout his posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes and lower back). This is due to the nature of sailing as he spends a lot of time hanging off the side of his boat in a supine position, which requires incredible strength and endurance in those muscle groups. In our sessions we are working on resolving this issue with mobility drills and stretching, which also helps keep him free of injuries.
Matt is definitely one to watch in the future and I am 100 per cent confident he will achieve his dream of racing in the Olympic games.
Gareth Bennett is a Personal Trainer at Train-GB and Head Strength & Conditioning Coach for Team GB Paralympic Goalball Team. Please contact Gareth for more details or to book a training session at one of the Hereford gyms. Home visits available.
Tel: 07429 132 276
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.train-gb.co.uk
Founder and editor of FitNet.
Previously gymnastics coach, massage therapist and personal trainer with 20 years of experience. Former gymnast and dancer.