Summer is here at last, well as much of summer as we get in this country. I’m developing quite a decent suntan because I spend lots of time sitting in a field throwing clubs as far away as possible. It’s been an up and down few months with regards to my throwing, it kind of feels like we’re taking a few steps forward then a few steps back at the moment, but we’re starting to make some steady progress.
I’ve competed a few times in the last few weeks including twice in one weekend, which was due to my trip to the Dutch Championships being cancelled. We decided to go down to the Welsh Championships in Cardiff, and my competition was on the Sunday, so I competed in Wigan on the Saturday. It turned out not to be not the best weekend I’ve had as I didn’t throw particularly well, and it’s such a long bloody way to Cardiff – everyone complains about how far it is to Newcastle but it’s takes forever to get to Cardiff from anywhere. I certainly had a couple of competitions to forget, but sometimes you need a bad one to spur you on to do better. I know you don’t become a bad athlete in one weekend.
On the subject of the cancelled trip to the Dutch Championships, KLM very kindly contacted me after I put something on Twitter about it. They investigated what happened and offered me a sincere apology, made a full refund and gave me a couple of vouchers to spend on in-air duty free, although I did think I was getting two free flights. I believe I’m the first athlete to get a response from an airline through Twitter, it’s a very refreshing approach from KLM to contact me direct when you usually have to go through a laborious process just to complain. I’ve had lots of problems with airlines and have never had such a positive response, they know something went wrong and now it will hopefully be better for wheelchair passengers. Good to see – maybe posting disgruntled thoughts on Twitter is the way forward, but don’t tell Phillips Idowu that.
I went off to compete in the Irish Championships in Dublin at the weekend. I’d never been to Ireland but it was very nice, we went on the ferry with CP Sport. It was a great trip and going by bus and ferry was so much less stressful than flying. I had a decent chuck about half a metre off my season’s best, and we even found somewhere to watch the David Haye fight, with a few pints of the black stuff of course – although there were better fights outside the pub than on the TV.
You might remember I spoke at the launch of Newcastle’s Active 500 London2012 legacy campaign not long ago. The campaign has been recognised as one of the best in the country and as part of the campaign I was at Northumbria University’s fantastic Sport Central building for the Opening Ceremony of the Active 500 School Olympics. It was a tremendous event with schools from all over Newcastle marching in, I was very inspired, there were over 40 sports taking place over the weekend. With joint working on events like this, I’m sure sport in the region will flourish.