Kaeshelle Cook

Despite the changes and challenges, I’m chuffed!

I would like to say thank you once again for the kit that your provided me at the beginning of the last academic year. Not only did I gain leggings, trainers and other such training gear to get me through the long year ahead, I also gained a boost of confidence. The mere fact that the John Taylor Foundation believed in me and what I could be capable of meant that when doubts arose about whether all the hard work was worth it (which pretty much happens every year when you face the tough winter sessions pushing the body its maximum), I was able to fall back on the knowledge that you believed in me and were willing to support my journey this year. There was a nice little note that Running Bear had placed inside the package which was lovely. I pinned it to my noticeboard as a reminder. Overall, the kit I received actually made a huge difference to the way I was able to mentally cope with all of the pressure I had.

This year I am proud to admit that I have achieved quite a lot this year although, from an outsiders perspective they may not be able to see it so clearly. Therefore, I will outline everything that has occurred this year through the power of determination and hard work. Due to my big injury last year I had a lot of scar tissue, pains and niggles surrounding my hip flexor and my right quad muscles. Having the kit already provided by Running Bear I was able to spend some money on receiving the necessary massage and physiotherapy treatment. I was able to physically get back on my feet and start training without any real worries.

I am delighted to inform you that I have successfully moved into my new training area at the University of Bath. I knew studying and training would be hard but I think I initially underestimated the level of change I would have to go through. I had a new degree to study, a new coach and training partners, new training facilities, new teachers/lecturers, new friends to make, and a new home to move into. It was completely crazy during those first weeks of September. Everything around me was changing and I had to keep up with it all. Adapting to the new lifestyle kind of came naturally to me but of course it had its challenges. I am so glad that I had the kit from Running Bear because there were so many costs to cover during the first month. I had to pay to use the new facilities, to join the university’s Athletics Sports club and entry to BUCS, and eventually the costs which incurred when I actually went to compete, all of which did not come cheap. I am proud of myself for having made it through all of these processes.

I used my new kit at training all the time which was great. I trained 6 out of 7 days so, there was not one item of clothing that could go unworn! I essentially lived in my training kit because of the way my lectures surrounded my training schedule, but it was all worth it. I honestly find that running on the track sparks a certain sense of passion within me that no other activity can. I was selected to compete at BUCS indoors in Sheffield in the 60m Hurdles which was a lot of fun. I did not do as well as I had hoped but coming off the back of an injury that wiped out the whole of my summer last year I was happy to simply represent my university as a first year student. I also ran in the indoor 4×200m relay which I enjoyed being part of Team Bath! Furthermore, I competed in the BUCS outdoors where I ran a PB and our relay team gained Silver medals.

I think it is also worth mentioning that I received a 2:1 (upper second class) for my first year of studies. I am very proud that I have managed to stay committed to my sport and get good grades at the same time.

Here are some pictures which highlight the great year I have had.



I hope that this message and these photographs illustrate that all the work done in the John Taylor Foundation is worth it, as I definitely believe so.