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This summer of sports was filled with success for me. In my event of long jump, my 2019 competitive season saw accomplishment after accomplishment achieved, and goal after goal reached. Having trained in the sport for more than five years, from a young age I have been working towards a number of long term goals, and I successfully achieved many of them this summer.
The first would include one of my proudest achievements to date – reaching the landmark distance of 6 metres, ranking me in the top 5 in my age group within the country. From as early as April, I attended every competition possible, be it a small open meeting or a county match. I took each competition as an opportunity to better my performance, and practice for the larger, more important meetings. The hard work in training and competition paid off as the season progressed, and by June, I was in top form. This was demonstrated through my accomplishment of my season’s best performance at South of England Championships. Having won the county championships the week before with a massive personal best of 5.93m, I was itching to progress even further. From an early age I had recognised the significance of 6m+ jump and longed to be known as a “6m jumper”. After my second round jump of 6.07m, I finally made this achievement. The immense hard work put in by my coach and the amazing support given by my parents finally paid off, setting the rest of my competitive season on the right foot.
My second large achievement came a month later, at my fourth consecutive English Schools National Championships. Having competed for Kent at the competition for the last four years, this was the first time I had competed as a lower year in the U20 age group. Having previously allowing my nerves to overcome me, hindering performance in prior years, I entered this year’s competition with confidence, determination and focus. I gave the competition my all under appalling weather conditions and that day I achieved yet another long-time dream – a medal at the English Schools Championships; an achievement that I had longed to reach since I began in the sport back in 2014, and had been robbed of at the last minute for many a year. It just goes to show, that if at first you don’t succeed, try again until you do.
Other notable achievements included selection for major international competitions, including the Loughborough International and British Championships respectively, in each cased being one of very few U20s selected. Competing in these major championships provided me with invaluable experience of what it was like to compete at an elite level. It was an honour to jump alongside the best in the field, with each competition giving me a chance to execute my own performance in front of the best. The British Championships at the end of August provided me with the chance to close my season with a bang, as well as practice of how to execute myself under the immense pressure of the widely televised event. I rubbed shoulders with the likes of Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Dina Asher-Smith and Adam Gemili for the day, even having my name announced on national television by none other than Greg Rutherford. It was an amazing taste of what is surely to come in the future, following similar levels of hard work and commitment.
Overall, this summer exceeded all of my expectations. Attempting to maintain high academic standards, upholding my Executive Officer duties and committing to training was very testing, but allowed me to develop key organisation and time management skills crucial to all aspects of my life. As each goal was accomplished, I rejigged my focus to achieve the next. I did not expect to have done as much as I did, but maintaining motivation and staying driven after having already achieved many of these accomplishments were achievements in themselves. Next year, I’ll go again, with an all new set of goals, and the same determination and grit. With hard work, who knows how far I’ll go?