News Thanet Roadrunners Athletics Club Development Awards Thanet Roadrunners Athletics Club Development Awards


Report by Ed Heardman
2010-10-30 12:43:14

Thanet Roadrunners Athletics Club Development Awards



Following on from the first round of awards made to young local sports people by Thanet Roadrunners Athletics Club there have been some pleasing results achieved by some of the recipients.


Awards were made to 4 swimmers, an athlete and an archer each of whom was aiming to use the award towards equipment and / or competition costs in order to further achieve in their chosen sports and so far both the swimmers and the athlete have put their grants to good effect.


The first to compete in their target events were the swimmers who were in Sheffield at the Ponds Forge pool for the ASA National Championships; Alexander Wilmshurst, Jordan Brett, Harry Bradford and Louise Gates.  Here Alexander gives us a flavour of the event as a whole.


In preparation for this event Alexander increased his swim training to 7 sessions a week which meant training twice a day on some days and also training before school.  Most of this training was done locally in the 25m pools but he also travelled to Crystal Palace to experience a 50m pool as part of his preparations. In the week prior to the competition he tapered his training i.e. reduced the number and the intensity of sessions and also, with great attention to detail, tweaked his diet to include more carbohydrates (known as carb-loading) and to reduce fatty foods although he found it frustrating not being able to eat sweets and crisps!


After a long drive to Sheffield on a Tuesday, the gala started on Wednesday and with the warm up scheduled for 0715 and registration required first it meant an early start. Alexander’s first event was the 200m breastroke where he was 20th fastest on paper but a 9-second personal best time saw him qualify for the final as 3rd fastest and he subsequently converted that to a bronze medal in the final.  Alexander commented “The Finals were just like the Olympics with stirring music and all the officials walking out in precision. Each competitor in the Final is then announced onto the Blocks, it then all goes quiet as the race comes under the control of the Starter. A short whistle and we stand on our blocks, ‘take your marks’, beep – we’re off. Straight after the race we were presented with our medals – it really did feel like the Olympics!”  Day 2 saw another 2 races and 1 PB but unfortunately no finals but Day 3 brought a 6th place in the 400m freestyle with another PB time.  Day 4 brought unknown territory for Alexander who had never swum in a gala longer than 2 days prior to this but this did not stop him posting another PB in the 100m Breaststroke to qualify for the final despite being well down the field on paper.  Following some salient psychological advice from his coach Alexander produced yet another PB time for another bronze medal.


Overall, based on the 7 events Alexander swam he came 6th overall in his category and picked up 2 bronze medals.  Alexander said “Thank you to Thanet Roadrunners for sponsoring me”


Another swimmer at the Nationals was Jordan Brett who was also grateful for the grant received.  Mum Andrea wrote “Thank you once again to Thanet Roadrunners for the grant, the money was used towards buying Jordan some racing Jammers that he needed, and as you had let us know the money was forthcoming we went ahead and bought the jammers for him to race him, which gave him added confidence.” Jordan achieved 4 final placings narrowly missing the podium in both the 100 Backstroke and the 200m Individual Medley in both of which he finished 4th.  He also finished 7th in both the 200m Butterfly and 400m Individual Medley.  


Harry Bradford achieved six national times overall and made it to the 200m butterfly final in which he finished 5th overall with a new PB whilst also placing 20th in the Bagcots.  Mum Susan commented “We are so proud of his national achievements and your (TRAC) contribution has made a big difference in helping him achieve the results he needs.”


Louise Gates, who qualified for the 7th year running, qualified in 4 events; 400m & 200m Individual Medley and 200m & 100m Breaststroke.  Her most successful performance came in the 200m IM where her time of 2.31.26 moved her up 17 places from her expected finish place based on pre-competition seedings.


Meanwhile in September, local athlete Ben Burton travelled up to Stoke to take part in the English Schools National Finals representing Kent Schools as part of a county team.  Ben has more recently been focussing his training on multi-discipline events and in Stoke was taking part in the Octathlon which involved him participating in 8 events - shot putt, discus, javelin, long jump, high jump, 100m hurdles, 400m and 1500m – in the Under 17s category over 2 days.


On the first day of competition Ben showed his professionalism by avoiding the temptations of a cooked breakfast and having something rather healthier and more sporty instead and then he headed off to the stadium along with his Kent team mates.

The 1st day opened with the long jump and unfortunately Ben did not jump as well as he knew he could, in fact he commented “I seemed to be jumping worse than 2 years ago!” however he put that event behind him and continued with the other events of the day whilst enjoying in the atmosphere of the whole event. The 2nd day of competition arrived with Ben determined to have a better day and showing the power of a positive mental attitude he started off by posting his 2nd fastest time ever in the 100m hurdles.  He followed this with 1.60m in the high jump and a respectable throw in the javelin.  The final event of the day was the 1500m and Ben won his race and ended up posting the 3rd fastest time overall in the event as a whole.


After that the hardest part came as all the competitors waited while the final results were collated – the results were announced and Kent had done enough to become English Schools National Champions with a trophy to go with the title.


Ben said “I would like to thank Thanet Roadrunners AC for giving me a grant towards the right footwear for the different events.  Despite not doing as well as I hoped at the finals, the new spikes did help me achieve 6 PBs leading up to the competition and another 4 PBs after, so I am very grateful – a big thank you”


The Thanet Roadrunners Athletics Club is proud to be able to support these young sports people in their sporting endeavours and wishes them all the best of luck in the future.

Young sports people are reminded that they can download an application form and supporting documents from the club website,, or contact Club Chairman Mark Foster on 01843 584909 for further details if they wish to apply for an award from the Thanet Roadrunners AC Yong Persons Sports Development Fund.





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