Ex-track ace helps athletes get ready for company games

EXPERT ADVICE: Mike McLeod presents John Boyer with his tracksuit ahead of the Grundfos 'Olympics'.

EXPERT ADVICE: Mike McLeod presents John Boyer with his tracksuit ahead of the Grundfos 'Olympics'.

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A NORTH East athletics ace has been helping Wearside athletes get ready for their very own ‘Olympics’.

Mike McLeod – who won a silver medal in the 10,000 metres at the 1984 games in Los Angeles, has been passing on his sporting expertise to Grundfos employees at the company’s Sunderland site.

I related my own experiences, talked about race strategy and tactics, and told them not to forget to enjoy the experience.

Mike McLeod

Ten staff will be among 1,150 athletes from more than 50 countries competing in the company’s own sporting games, which are held every four years in the Danish town of Bjerringbro, where the world’s largest pump manufacturer has its global base.

To help the Wearside athletes, the 63-year-old went along to a training day at the Stadium of Light to pass on dietary and training tips.

Mike, who also won the first two Great North Runs and who now runs his own printing business, said: “I told them what to eat and what not to eat, and how to focus on training.

“I related my own experiences, talked about race strategy and tactics and told them not to forget to enjoy the experience.”

The Sunderland participants will compete in a range of sports, including swimming, cycling, shooting, darts, pool, volleyball and handball.

Team captain John Boyer is a swimmer and a county champion at 100m breastroke.

John, a finance manager at the company’s Castletown site, said: “I’m really looking forward to the games – it should be great fun, but we’re taking the training seriously.

“I’ll be competing in the 100m and 200m breastroke and hopefully will bring back a medal. I’ve been looking at the winning times from previous games, and the standard is good. I’m looking forward to the competition, but also to meeting Grundfos colleagues from around the world.”

The games take place from May 14 to 17, with all participants staying with host families in and around Bjerringbro.