Keepy-Uppies with AC Milan's Pato: 8 Places To Train With Pro Athletes

Tired of running through the park with the dog or doing sit-ups while watching Jeremy Kyle, well there's a few ways you can get out there and train with the pros.
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AC Milan Training Camp at La Manga Club, Italy

Italy’s most glamorous football club may be renowned for the eternal youthfulness of its players, but this is a unique opportunity for the Inzaghis and Beckhams of tomorrow to train with Milan’s coaches. Open to girls and boys from six to 17, kids get a full adidas training kit accompanying parents can take advantage of the state-of-the-art tennis and golf facilities at the award-winning Murcian resort.

Gary Smith at Celtic Manor Short Game Experience, UK

For the keen amateur golfer playing on a 2010 Ryder Cup course is treat enough, but Celtic Manor now offers a comprehensive clinic with the top golf coach designed to transform your game over one weekend. Smith boasts 13 years experience as an England Squad technical coach and his former pupils include Justin Rose and Ross Fisher. You’ll get a chance to see if the magic has rubbed off by playing 18 holes on the 2010 course.

Kiawah Island Tennis Resort, South Carolina, USA

Consistently voted the best tennis holiday in the world by the users of, the South Carolina resort has two tennis facilities overseen by former pro Roy Barth, one of the founders of the ATP tour. The resort runs a busy programme of camps from March to October, but Barth can also tailor ad-hoc programmes for groups of 3-30 punters, and the setting is perfect with over 10 miles (16 km) of beach and plenty of wildlife.

Robin Brew Swim Camp at Club La Santa, Lanzarote.

Club La Santa, boasts an impressive range of sports holidays throughout the year in disciplines such as Triathlon and long distance cycling. Former Olympic swimmer Brew is a regular coach here, and combines the swim sessions with advice on stretching and gym work. It’s designed to stretch advanced swimmers, but be inclusive enough for the less adept, and the fun side culminates in a gala day with relay races and time trials.

Ski jumping at the Utah Olympic Park, USA

After you’ve mastered the black runs and can go off piste, what else is left? Going airborne. The pick of the places to try it out is the venue for the 2002 Winter Olympics where you can go from being a Nordic novice to a 131 feet (40 metre) flyer with a week or so of coaching, under the tutelage of Olympic coaches. Just make sure your travel insurance is up to date…

Open to girls and boys from six to 17, kids get a full adidas training kit accompanying while parents can take advantage of the state-of-the-art tennis and golf facilities.

L’Etape du Tour, France

For the true cycling aficionado, this is the only way to properly benchmark your skills against the very best: by riding a stage of the Tour De France. This year the course will culminate in the ascent of Col du Tourmalet in the Pyrenees, with an average gradient of 10-11%. No matter what your level of fitness is, you’ll need to find some inner Lance for that!

Richard Allen Fitness Late Season Malaga Triathlon Camp, UK

Legendary British triathlete Allen does an extensive line in coaching offering personal training, UK training days and these more intensive retreats. This Malaga-based camp is designed to take intermediate athletes to Ironman standards, as well as giving plenty of advice on how to keep their training up through the Winter. Accommodation is in a lovely private villa with its own pool and hot tub, should you have any energy left to notice.

Pro-Ride Snowboard camps, Whistler

If your taste in sports veers to the “rad” these people offer just the thing. With a coaching team that includes Olympic riders, and a ratio of instructors to students that never exceeds 1:4, Pro-Ride offer week-long camps, intensive clinics and instructor courses lasting anything up to 12 weeks. And don’t worry about the powder: their Canadian base has been voted North America’s top resort for the last ten years.

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