Not long until my operation now which is on the 19th February. All being well I’m aiming to start competing in June but it’s just a case of waiting and seeing what’s going on in my hip before we can make any definate plans. I’m very optimistic about the future and this is like a fresh start for me, it’s the longest break from serious training I’ve had for 13 years and I think that will do me good. My mum is now my main coach following Ray’s retirement after Beijing, and I have a new strength & conditioning coach, so it definately is a new start for me.
This season is a bit flat with there being no major but that’s probably a good thing after the intensive build up to Beijing. I’ve been keeping myself as fit and strong as possible in preparation for the op, but still been enjoying my more relaxed schedule – I’m in Belfast this weekend for some R&R which I’m really looking forward to having had no holiday last year at all.
The indoor athletics season has started and Dwain Chambers is already getting on my nerves, he’s got some gob on him – you’d think he’d just keep his head down and just get on with it, but he just loves bringing attention on himself. He seems to want people to feel sorry for him, which is pretty hard to do as he deliberately took drugs and when he got caught he proclaimed ‘you cannot be successful in sport without taking drugs’, of course now he has since seen the light and has a new message that ‘drugs are bad’ and he wants to be a shining example. It’s too late I’m afraid, for years he competed and won medals and broke records knowing he had an unfair advantage, and the thing that shouldn’t be forgotten is that he will still now be benefiting from the training he did whilst on performance enhancing drugs, his body shape changed dramatically in that time. The current stance is that everyone deserves a second chance but in Dwain’s case I don’t think he does. I don’t think he’s doing himself or the sport any favours.
I’m speaking in Newbiggin tonight, as long as a ton of snow doesn’t turn up this afternoon, it’s their Community Sports Conference, should be good crack. In the morning I’m being interviewed as part of an independent review of UKA – So what will I be saying?
1) More individual approach to athlete development, instead of just grouping event/discipline groups together.
2) Move away from HiPac culture, more respect for individual coaches, recognising that being in a comfortable environment and working with a coach you believe in and trust, is better than being made to move to work with the ‘top’ coach.
3) More senior athlete/coach involvement in decisi0n making regarding camps and competitions.
4) Better balance of coaches/care/support staff in squad teams. Also better treatment of personal coaches at major competitions.
5) Realistic performance targets for individual athletes, better understanding of events and expected outcomes.
Probably a lot more stuff…