What is the best and worst thing about your sport?
The best thing has to be the adrenaline, it's not every day you get to travel down an icy slope at 90mph! But the worst thing has to be the weather, being a winter sport a lot of the time I am training in minus temperatures, the coldest I've experienced is -14 in Norway which is where I could feel the hairs in my nose freeze!
What is your best achievement this year?
This year I was fortunate to be selected onto the senior GB team to compete at the British Championships in Austria where I finished 6th. This was my first time driving a 2-man sled having made the transition from monobob (1-man) at the start of this season. I was also lucky to have a great brakeman pushing me, another bobsleigh athlete based in Loughborough, Jordan Smallin.
What does your normal day and week look like?
I am currently working towards my final exams in June for my A-level qualifications, meaning I am still in full time education at Rawlins Academy in Quorn. Despite this, a normal week consists of four gym sessions (strength & conditioning), two track sessions (sprints) and during the summer I also train at Bath University on the push track to practise pushing a sled. As well as this, I still train for karate regularly at Diamond Dojo with Team Rankine where I also coach some of the younger up and coming karate athletes.
What do you enjoy most about being a sports person?
For me being a sportsman is all about respect. Any successful athlete in any sport will tell you how much dedication is required to become elite. It's this recognition from other athletes, family, friends, sponsors and society on a whole which I love and is the driving force for me to continue to improve.
Who is your sporting hero?
My sporting hero has and always will be Sensei Wayne Otto OBE. Wayne has not only achieved sporting greatness by becoming the world champion on numerous occasions for kumite (karate fighting) but he continues to inspire the younger generation of athletes through teaching and coaching. I've been fortunate enough to train with Sensei Otto which has allowed me to see how and why he became so successful.
Where is your favourite place to compete?
This is a no brainier for me, St Moritz in Switzerland! I've competed twice in St Moritz and both times I was in awe of the place itself. Being in a winter sport every where I compete has snow but in St Moritz there is also sun which makes waking up at 4am to slide every morning just that little bit easier! It's also the only natural bobsleigh track in the world, meaning they build it each year from the ice from the lake, making it a really smooth, quiet drive down the track.
If you could win one competition what would it be and why?
The Olympic Games. Since I was young I've always had the dream of becoming an Olympian, but the ultimate goal is the become Olympic Champion. It's the biggest title in nearly every sport and for me to actually win at a Games would be a dream come true! My aim is to make the 2022 Olympic team for bobsleigh and the 2020 team for karate.
What is your favourite thing to do when you have some down-time?
I enjoy spending time with my family, friends and girlfriend as it allows me to switch off from training or school and just enjoy being around good people!
Have you ever had an injury?
I've been fortunate to not sustain any major muscular injuries, but in 2013 I had my arm broken in a karate competition when blocking a kick, this put me out of any physical activity for eight weeks and took another four weeks to fully heal enough to start fighting again. Luckily it was a clean break of the radius and didn't need any surgery but it was so frustrating not being able train for so long!
What are your targets for the next 6 months?
I'm now finished for the winter season so my focus returns back to karate, I want to compete at the British Championships (which will be my first senior fight). I also need to get my head down and study for my upcoming A-level exams in June and if I get the grades I should be attending Bath University to study sports performance in September!
How does your SportsAid grant and support from The Nottingham help you? What sort of things do you pay for?
I heard about SportsAid through my national governing body (British Bobsleigh Skeleton Association BBSA) who put me forward for an award in 2015 which I was lucky enough to receive.
How did you hear about SportsAid?
My SportAid award is invaluable, without it I would struggle to make the 300 mile round trip to Bath every week, I can't thank everyone at SportAid and the Nottingham Building Society enough! It mostly goes towards my petrol and travel expenses but once I receive this upcoming cheque I will be able to purchase a new pair of ice spikes which cost £300. It also goes towards food and supplements to aid my training and keep me fuelled as well as physiotherapy to keep my body in the best possible shape. Once again I'd like to say a big thank you to everyone involved with securing this award for me!
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