I'm the first athlete in my family. I'm a dedicated, committed and hardworking athlete who always gives 100%+ in all training sessions and races. Competing for the club as often as possible is something I'm passionate about. I always have very high expectations of myself to run well with a good time every time. I'm a cross country and middle distance track athlete, where my primary events are 1500m and 3000m (3k), though mainly 1500. I do some 800s but not so often. On the track, all that matters is I'm both racing and able to give my all; regardless of scoring or non-scoring. As you’ll find out if you read on, I never used to enjoy competing; however, you now can't get me away from it. I always want to do as well as I can and the same for the club, which of course is to score as many points as possible and to try to win. I'm always willing to fill in gaps because I'm one who wants to be a real team player and member.
From 2008 - 2015, I was a member of the choir of St Laurence Church, Upminster, where from 2013 - 2014 I was Head Chorister. I was a soprano, which means the top line, hence the top notes, and the tune. I was so glad when I jacked it in as I wasn't enjoying it any longer and this meant I could compete regularly for the club. A lie in, training and on my way to a race meet is what I'd rather be doing on a Sunday morning because Havering AC is so much more important. Being available to compete as often as possible is extremely important to me, if not vital.
When I first joined the club, I never regularly competed, mainly because I wasn’t ready nor good enough. As you can see in the performances section below, it took me a little while to become an established, well known regular competitor for the club. My first two league race meetings on the track, at St Albans in 2011 (100 & 200m) and then Lee Valley in 2012 (800m), I burst into tears after my race because of how I'd done i.e. coming last each time and coming a cropper in the 800, despite giving my all and being a non-scorer. This was when I didn't enjoy competing for the club and after the 800 race, I said I was never competing again. However, the next summer (2013), I competed again; this time it was in our first Spring Warm Up Meeting, two league fixtures, and our Club Championships. Because I did that little bit better, I was fine afterwards and this got me going competitively. The following winter, which was my first in cross-country, I competed in four of the five Essex XC League fixtures and the SEAA Cross Country Championships, all of which I really enjoyed. I’m only focused on myself in training and races, though at the same time, I'm always one for supporting, encouraging and motivating others from the training group and the club overall to succeed and do well in their races ONLY when I have nothing to do with the race i.e. they're not racing me, so not in the same race.
I never represented my primary school (Engayne) in any sport. However, I did represent my secondary school (Hall Mead) in athletics (English Schools Athletics Cup at Basildon in 2012) and cross-country (twice in the Havering Schools District Championships - 2013 & 2014 at Pages Wood and Stubbers respectively). Each time I gave my all but I only really performed at the athletics race and I thought the day as a whole was reasonably OK. At Districts, I did really badly both times, didn't live up to my high expectations and just didn’t perform, especially the first time. Neither my family, my coach nor I could understand why. Afterwards, I was asking myself ‘‘why the hell have I even bothered trying to get into this?’’ as both times I loathed every second of it. I enjoyed competing in Sports Day for 3 years (my first year I didn’t do it), giving my all for my house and actually performing that bit better, but not exactly excelling like I do and have done for the club. One year, we hosted a small friendly athletics meeting with St Edwards where I did 800 and again did really badly.
When I was younger, I wasn’t a sporty person. I had no interest in competitive sport, or watching any sport - Dad couldn’t even get me to watch football. For outside sport, before I joined Havering AC, I used to do swimming, of which I did for many years and overtime became a very good swimmer. It wasn’t competitive, it was half hour lessons every Saturday morning/noon. In that time, I’d done my 25 & 50m, Half Mile, Mile, and 2k. Swimming is something I’ve always enjoyed and still do, even though I haven’t been for a long time. Even though I never used to, I love sport and I also love watching football and playing it informally, enjoy watching tennis and informally playing cricket.
For a poetry competition, I wrote a poem on the theme of 'Journey' and it's about me before and when I first joined Havering AC to where I am now, which was very fitting as the day I wrote it, I received a phone call beforehand with unexpected news. I did the competition again the year before, where the theme was Social Media and I was the runner up.
Achievements & Awards in sport (most recent first):
Junior Men (U20) XC Best Performance award 2017-18
Havering Senior Men 'A' team Essex Road Relays gold 2018
Havering Senior Men team Essex XC League title winners 2017-18
U20 Men team gold - Essex Senior, U20 & U17 X Country Championships 2018
U20 Men 1500m Silver - Southend AC Open (& Club Championships) 2017
Junior Men (U20) XC Team Member award 2016-17
U20 Men 1500m Gold - Southend AC Open (& Club Championships) 2016
U17 Men Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon 2015 & 2016 Finisher
Havering U17 Men team Essex XC League title winners 2015-16
Havering AC’s Annual Boxing Day Handicap Champion 2015 (winner of the U20 trophy); see the summary and results on the club website
U17 Men 1500m Gold - Havering AC Club Championships 2015
U17 Men 3000m (3k) Silver - Southend AC Open (& Club Championships) 2015
U17 Men XC Best Performance award 2014-15
U17 Men 1500m Silver - Havering AC Club Championships 2014
U15 Boys XC Team Member award 2013-14
U15 Boys 800m Silver - Havering AC Club Championships 2013
Jack Petchey Achievement Award 2012 for hard work & effort in training, turning up at races and dedication & commitment