Eye doctor admits she's in demand ahead of London 2012 Olympics
ONLY one person has ever won back-to-back Rugby World Cups - and now with London 2012 fast approaching, Olympic associations everywhere are bidding to uncover Sherylle Calder's golden secrets.
GENIUS AT WORK: 'Eye doctor' Sherylle Calder puts England Rugby World Cup winners Jason Leonard, Julian White and Steve Thompson through some peripheral training (Reuters)
Ten years ago the very idea of an ‘eye doctor' in sport was not taken seriously anywhere.
That was until Sir Clive Woodward - now British Olympic Association director of sport - employed Calder among his backroom staff for England's, one and only, World Cup triumph in 2003.
Four years later the South African repeated the trick, this time employed by her native Springboks, and now no one is laughing at employing Calder's services.
In the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Games Calder was again approach by Sir Clive to work with British Olympians but the project was discontinued.
Woodward's loss though is bound to be another country's gain but Calder is keeping her cards close to her chest.
Calder said: "I worked with the BOA until the end of '08 but am now working with teams for 2012.
"I can't say who at this point."
The only person to have received a formal PhD in Sports Vision Training, a qualification often belittled, her expertise includes focusing on a player's all round vision, ability to process information and react accordingly.
Her achievements with the Springboks and the 2003 Australian World Cup winning cricket squad among others have finally and quite rightly proved cynics wrong.
And an army of converted believers across the sporting world are eager to see whether she can pull it out the bag at 2012.
She said: "In the sporting world, there are so many gimmicks and that's the crux of it.
"But it has been proven in research and shown in the real life experience of winning two World Cups over an eight-year period.
"I like every team I work with to achieve the best of their ability but adding my skills is an edge they cannot get anywhere else.
"What helps me is I've worked with so many sports teams and international cultures.
"I know what's important to win World Cups.
"My experience when coaching adds a little edge and helps get the results when it's tough to do sometimes."
During her time at the Springboks, their 2007 victory in Paris, ironically against England, was undoubtedly her career highlight, not only due to the triumph she shaped but winning with her own country.
Having achieved such success in such a specialised field, Calder looks set to only further an astonishing career at 2012 wherever she decides her loyalties lie.« Back