Last week Josh Fort, and 7 other young drivers attended the Speedway Australia “rising star” Camp, at the Australian Institute of Sport located in Canberra.

Being the only Victorian given the opportunity to attend the camp this year, Josh made the most of the experience.

“ I was overwhelmed when I received the phone call from Shane (Collins) of Speedway Australia, in late December to let me know I had been chosen to attend the 2012 camp.”

“It has been trying year for me and the team, mechanical wise, and it was good to finally get some good news for all our hard work.”

Fort flew into Canberra, Monday night where he spent the night getting to know the other young drivers.

The following day, the team got a tour of the AIS, and spent the day with Sports Psychologist Vicki DePrazer. Vicki has worked with a lot of Olympic athletes and other drivers such as Craig Lowndes.

The drivers had one on one interviews with Vicki to discuss the results from an online test they completed 2 weeks prior to the camp. “It was interesting talking to Vicki one on one, she knew everything about me from a simple online test that consisted on 150 multiple choice questions.” Fort said.

The following day the drivers had lectures in nutrition and physiology. The boys also performed a skin fold and “beep” test. After the beep test Josh and the team had a chance to recover at the AIS recovery centre.

Recovery consists of a 5 minute walk in a current pool, and then changing from a 40 degree spa pool to a 10 degree cold pool, repeating the process 3-4 times.

“I know the boys would agree with me in saying, the cold pool was not ideal, but is a vital part in the recovery process.”

The drivers also competed in the annual AIS go kart challenge, at the Queanbeyan Superkarts. It consisted of 1 practice session and 2 heats. It was a good chance for the drivers to get back behind the wheel to “show off” and have some fun. “We had a lot of fun at the go karts, we all rotated karts in the sessions. It would be fair to say their were 3 karts down on power.”

On the final day, the drivers had a chance to work out at the AIS gym. Kim Williams from the AIS gave a lecture about strength and conditioning, and they also gained valuable self massaging techniques using a tennis ball.

After lunch the team was treated to Marketing training with Darren Disbury. “Darren was great, he explained the best way in which to gain sponsorship and market yourself as an elite driver. I have learnt a lot from Darren, and he is eager to keep in touch with all drivers and learn of their progress in marketing their teams.”

The team of drivers also had media training with Wade Aunger. Being one of the best commentators in Australia, Wade provided the team with helpful hints on how to present yourself better, on and off the track.

“ Wade is an inspirational character, and I know I am not the most confident person when it comes to public speaking. He gave us the do’s and don’ts when it comes to being interviewed, and he has made me a better person for it.”

In conclusion, Josh was very thankful for the opportunity Speedway Australia provided him.

“I would like to thank Speedway Victoria and Speedway Australia for the opportunity they provided me. The “Rising Star” program is going from strength to strength each year, with Shane Collins of Speedway Australia being the driving force behind the program. I would encourage every young driver to apply for the program next season, as I learnt things I never thought would have affected my on and off track performance. I also have formed good friendships with all of the team, and look forward to staying in touch.”

Josh Fort Motorsport PR