Helens Bio

'Team Pryer’ - Helen's Support Team

Helen Pryer

Helen Pryer has rapidly established herself as one of the country's most-promising female sprinters following her breakthrough season in 2008.

A late-starter in the sprinting stakes, Helen initially began her ascent through the sprinting echelons back in 2004, reaching the 200m final of the Olympic trials and making her debut relay squad international appearance representing England and Great Britain. Her dreams of international success were short-lived however as she sadly lost her mother to cancer the following year and acquired a catalogue of incessant injuries.

Helen endured a couple of torrid years in the injury wilderness before she decided to transform her training regime: changing her coaching setup to an entirely new support team of specialists. Helen immediately saw the rewards, and under the guidance of new strength and conditioning coach John Shirley and rehabilitation specialist Jim Adkins she made her most impressive start to a season yet in 2007: winning both sprint events at the Surrey County Championships and defeating former Olympic finalist Donna Fraser at the Bedford International Games. 'Team Pryer' was born.

An exciting few months of competition followed in which Helen climbed over 40 ranking places to enter the UK 200m sprinting elite. Her successes were duly noted by U.K Athletics - who officially recognized her as one of the 'Most-Improved' track and field athletes in the U.K.

The winter season of 2007/08 saw the introduction of internationally renowned Osteopath and Corrective Exercise Consultant Matthew Wallden to the setup and Helen began work with life-performance coach Gill Harvey-Bush to enhance her psychological approach to elite-level sprint competition. Her most successful seasons ever were soon to be ahead of her.

In 2008 Helen's successes included the national 200m titles in the UK Challenge and Inter-County Championships, a Championship record at the Surrey County Championships and a new Stadium 200m record at Windsor. She claimed the biggest prize in the UK domestic athletics league winning the season-ending 2008 'UK Golden Challenge' prize - awarded to the most consistently successful British-League based athlete of the year.

Helen's 1st GB individual vest

Helen's incredible run of form saw her complete a deserved move in 2009 to regular international competition abroad after a long-overdue selection by U.K Athletics bosses.

2009 heralded her finest season ever with three personal best 200m times. This included a stunning win in Cuxhaven, Gernany on July 22nd over 2009 200m World Top-Ten ranked ChaRonda Williams of the USA in a new p.b. of 23.20s – claiming the A Qualification Standard for the Commonwealth Games!

Helen finished the 2009 season ranked as the 4th fastest 200m runner in the UK – a career-high national ranking for Helen. An exciting season beckons for 2010 and Helen has already earned her first individual GB vest of her career to represent Team Great Britain in the world-televised Aviva Glasgow Indoor International.

With the right opportunity and backing, Helen is convinced she fulfil her dream of successfully representing her country at the 2012 Olympic Games.

A promising future awaits her…

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Matthew Wallden

Matthew Wallden serves as Helen's Osteopath and Corrective Exercise Consultant . His role is to assess Helen's physiological adaptation to her intensive training, ensuring her body is as finely-tuned as possible to withstand the rigours of elite competition and minimsing her chances of acquiring injury. He has been a driving force behind Helen's transition into the international elite and works closely with all members of 'Team Pryer' to ensure Helen's training approach is as holistically balanced as possible.

A leading faculty member of the internationally renowned C.H.E.K Institute of Corrective Holistic Exercise Kinesiology, Matthew is one of the world's leading specialists in the field of exercise science. He has consulted for various top sports teams including Chelsea Football Club, Charlton Athletic Football Club and Surrey County Cricket Club, and has lectured at four major UK Osteopathic colleges and many international post-graduate courses for medical, rehabilitation and fitness professionals. He is currently involved in several book publications, including his upcoming book "The Hamstring Syndrome", and sits on the advisory board of the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies.

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John Shirley

John Shirley operates as Helen's strength and conditioning coach. His role is to develop Helen's strength and power base to the superhuman levels necessary for her peak performance throughout the rigours of the competitive track season. He also works on Helen's corrective stretching and remedial sports massage sessions, essential for minimising her chances of acquiring injuries and vital in enhancing her rapid recovery from training.

A renowned conditioning coach, John is positioned at the forefront of the UK physical-training arena: frequently receiving glowing endorsements from his clients in both the national television and sporting magazine media. He has a track record in achieving winning results and works extensively with elite level athletes from many sports.

John served as a key player in the formation of Team Pryer during 2007 and 2008, introducing Helen to many of the specialists on the team. This has transformed her training methods and facilitated her breakthrough into the international sprinting arena.

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Gill Harvey-Bush

Gill Harvey-Bush operates as Helen's life-performance coach. Gill serves a key role in preparing Helen for the psychological preparation necessary for elite-level competition and her effectiveness has been clearly reflected in Helen's winning run of results. She has been a crucial member of 'Team Pryer' and has been key in shaping and refining Helen's infallible focus to win at the highest level.

Gill can frequently be heard on the radio and she has recently appeared on ITV's Kyle's Academy as a renowned life-performance coach.

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Jim Adkins

Jim Adkins serves as Helen's key rehabilitation specialist. Jim's therapeutic skills were paramount in eradicating Helen's injury blues over the winter season of 2006-07 after the two injury-plagued years she had previously endured. Jim's therapy culminated in Helen enjoying her most successful start to a season yet in 2007 and heralded the start of her rapid ascension in the UK sprinting rankings. Jim's collaboration with strength coach John Shirley also ensured Helen core strength and posture was optimally developed, as evidenced by her radical new approach to her sprint training and her resistance to injury since.

Jim works as a renowned rehabilitation specialist to many elite international athletes as the medical director of the 'Berkshire Physiotherapy Centre' in Reading. He has served on the athletic Commonwealth rehabilitation squad during the Commonwealth Games.

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