Changing coaches – a big move in 2011

The last two years have been a HUGE change.

As any athlete knows, moving coaches is a big deal; learning their ins and outs, new regimes and expectations. And also, as any student knows, going to Uni is too, a big step.

Moving from Brian Parkes to David Parker was one of the biggest changes I’ve had so far. I find it happily satisfying that Brian used to coach David, and David used to train with Mick Hill and Steve Backley – I love how a lot of the javelin crew are all connected. I found the move quite a challenge at first, but this was definitely what I needed to take me to the next level. David has high expectations of me and I really like the fact that he believes all the way in his athletes. He’s helped me through the tough times and the victorious times.

I really enjoyed training with my previous group – there was a mix of us, some javelin throwers, some shot putters, discus throwers, multi eventers. We had a good laugh and encouraged each other and collected each other’s javelins out in the field. We mainly trained at Don Valley stadium – wow – I had some great memories there. For those interested there might be a chance it will still be standing – just a little article here: School plans for Sheffield’s Don Valley stadium site ( We used to hop and bound up every one of the Don Valley steps as a warm up before a throwing session – during which we would almost stab the runners who were stupid enough to run across the middle of the field without looking! Brian was a great coach for me then and has helped me in my journey a lot. I miss those times! Felix, Tesni, Liz, Danny, Kelly, Sarah x2, Michael, Greg & Jo, Beth = TT!

I didn’t know what the word ‘intense training’ meant until I met David! I remember two main things in the first few sessions: the first was being amazed by the level of detail and technical knowledge he gave during sessions, especially weights. My technique soon became a lot more efficient. The second thing was chundering, or, ‘feeling the carrot’ I called it haha! Just before I threw up during a sled session I could always feel a lump in my throat….and well, yes we all know carrots come up.

It was hard to get used to the difference at first. Whilst still in Donny, the number of times I trained went from 3 to 5/6 and I had to catch the bus, train and tram to get from Doncaster to Sheffield to train each time. There was a lot more responsibility to take on too as well as pushing myself outside my comfort zone. Part of why I moved to Loughborough in the first place was because David had planned to base himself there and I am very glad I did for a number of reasons. We have a good group here in Loughy and I’m excited to have a fresh start and launch into Winter Training next week! 😀


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