It is amazing how many of our members have or currently are competing, coaching or involved in Sports so we are going to feature a few of our ‘stars’ that you can get to know.
Tony joined the Pavilion back in 1997. Typically of his generation he had been involved in sports at school but once he had left he focussed on his career and family life. Once he was in his 30’s he found more time to train and as cross country and running had been his main sport he trained and competed in the Marathon. He has since competed in New York, 5 times and London running under 3 hours and 20 minutes.
One of the key moments that inspired Tony was listening to Lindford Christie after he had won gold saying that he did it for his coach. Tony qualified originally as a middle distance coach but soon changed direction as he was concerned his youngest son was trying out the triple jump at the age of eleven. Tony realised that for such a youngster the forces are not ideal at that age on a young body and so by 1995 he was a level 3 coach in middle distance, horizontal jumps and strength and conditioning. He coached at Battersea with Belgrave Harriers and had an English Schools and National Champion U17 long jumper.
To complement this coaching aspect Tony qualified as a Sports Therapist in 1995. He worked part time with London Irish U19 squad, Chessington Football Club and Belgrave Harriers League Team as therapist/masseur on match days.
When London was awarded the Olympic Games in 2005 Tony really wanted to get involved as he had curtailed his coaching aspect whilst he was heavily involved as a Therapist. He volunteered and acted as an ambassador for the games and began coaching at Sutton Indoor Centre, initially with the Surrey Squad on triple and long jump and then joined up with John Vernon's group.
There are around 12 athletes, mainly U20 and U17 and also 2 veteran athletes that train regularly. Their philosophy is to coach anyone from any club. Training nights are three times per week plus Saturday morning subject to weekend competitions. Phil Martin helps coach in the week and John Vernon rotates his time – 3 months in the USA and 3 months in the UK. John assists the young athletes in obtaining university places in the USA. Currently 2 of the athletes are off to Princeton this coming August.
In the current group – Keri Davidson is ranked no 1 in UK TJ U20 and is national indoor champion 2015 and English Schools Champion. Stephane Amokwandoh is ranked no 2 in UK TJ U 20 and Jacob Veerapen is ranked no.8 in UK TJ U20 and National Indoor U 17 champion 2014. Tony still maintains his fitness using the wattbikes for CV fitness and completing strength conditioning with the weights. He has started running again and is considering competing in the Masters Category.
Do you have a story to tell about a member and their achivements? Let us know, we would love to hear from you.