Author: Lecky

James Gormley – Track and Field

Firstly, I’d like to say a big thank you to the John Taylor foundation for the support. Your aid is so helpful as funding training is costly, with all the kit, travelling, physio sessions, race entry and accommodation. So far with the funding I have bought a pair of trainers and spikes.

Unfortunately in October 2015 I strained a tendon in my foot in a training session which prevented me from running for 2 months. This set back meant that I was unable to achieve the goals I wanted to this cross country season, like making the GB teams for European Cross Country championship and Great Edinburgh XC which was really disappointing and quite demoralising.

Despite the injury I was able to cross train most days. By either cycling, swimming or doing core and strengthening exercises, this has allowed me to maintain strength and fitness throughout. In late December I was able to return to training now after a month of easy running and gradually increasing my mileage, I have finally began doing sessions with my coach again, so hopefully now with help from the John Taylor Foundations generous support I can build to where I need to be to achieve the goals I want on the track this summer.

So despite the disappointing last few months I am confident that 2016 will be a successful year.

James Gormley

James Gormley

Aidan Smith – orienteer

A grant was awarded to Aidan Smith to help with the costs involved in competing at the Junior World Orienteering Championships.

As my final international as a junior this will be the last time I have the opportunity to race with the pressure of a top result on me for some time, as it will take years to reach the top of the senior age group, so I expect the benefits I can gain, both in terms of motivating results, and experience of high pressure competition, will be hard to replicate elsewhere as I move up next year into senior competition.


Track and Field grants

Grants have been made to the following track and field athletes:

William Fuller – Blackheath and Bromley

Running is a big part in my life which I been doing for nearly seven years now. I thoroughly enjoy it and I am passionate about the sport. Following the guidance of my coaches I have always planned my training. I have been taught to gradually increase my mileage in order to reduce chance of injury and keep on improving. This I have done and hope to be able to continue by sticking to this principle.
My ambitions for the future are to place highly in the European cross country trials in Liverpool and qualify for the Home Countries International. As well as place highly in Nationals, and UK Inter counties. Providing the winter goes well my aim for 2016 track season would be to complete in the Loughborough International and place highly at world junior trials over 1500m or 5000m. My ambition is to run for Great Britain or England as a junior and progress and improve my way up into the senior age group.

Jennifer Willison – Derby Athletics

A contribution towards travel and accommodation costs would enable me to participate fully in the FRA U20 Championships. This series consists of 7 races held around Yorkshire, Lancashire and the Lake District. I also take part in the National trial races for England and Great Britain.  Travelling from Derby to each race is on average a 200 mile car journey (there and back). I compete mainly in fell running; over each year the miles accumulate to a considerable amount (4,000 miles plus).

Laurie Dawkins – Taunton AC

My ultimate aim is to follow in the footsteps of great women british athletes like Jess Ennis – Hill who I have been lucky enough to train with; that experience was a massive inspiration to me, and that season I won my first Gold at English schools.

Beth Lloyd – Birchfield Harriers

The grant will let me buy the equipment I need, along with correct kit, all of this will help ensure I stay injury free and it allows me to pursue my goals for next year and my dream for the future. It would help me so much. I have increased my training to hope to become a top class athlete. My mom does everything she can to help and gives up everything for me.  All of her money is spent on my competitions, hotels, travelling from Redditch to Birmingham 5 days a week, strength and condition courses, Membership fees etc.

Laura King – Orienteering

Laura King has been awarded a grant towards her contribution towards membership of the British Orienteering Talent Squad.

I would like to thank you for my grant which I shall use to assist me in funding my British Orienteering Talent Squad membership. So far this year I have been on two extremely useful training and coaching weekends in Lincoln and in Dorking, each with a different focus. The first focus being planning for the season ahead and also the provision of sport science support for orienteering. This involved various strength and conditioning sessions including an introduction to Plyometrics and various talks about dealing with injuries and the psychological side of competing. The second was on analysis of the fundamentals skills and working on their development. Despite being recently injured I have managed to apply what I have learnt to my training over winter and am now beginning to build it up before the competition season. I am about to go on my third BOF talent camp this weekend at near Blencathra where I hope to further improve my technical skills so I am well prepared for the season to come.

Will Rigg – Pre-JWOC Training Camp

I would once again like to emphasise my upmost gratitude to the JTF for supporting me with the grant to enable me to travel out to Rauland in preparation for the Junior World Championships; it made a huge difference.

The trip was a great success in itself and provided invaluable experience for the forthcoming Championships. A team of three athletes (Chris Galloway, Julie Emmerson and myself) and our Junior Team Coach (Mark Nixon) flew out to Oslo Rygge on the 7th of June. Nixon and I travelled from Edinburgh to meet up with Chris and Julie who were competing at the WC round in Munkedal, Sweden. Whilst they were competing, Nixon and I entered the spectator race and finished 2nd and 1st respectively, a result I won’t let him forget. (One of the very few times I’ve beaten Nixon, I probably won’t see that day again for a few years). We then took the long journey up to Rauland and arrived late at night after a few unexpected issues (i.e. leaving our bags back at the event centre…) Luckily all the snow had cleared which was a relief after seeing tweets from the French team from the previous week who had to train in knee deep snow for a whole week.

We had an excellent training package delivered by the JWOC organisers as well as some great exercises planned by Mark. On average we would train twice a day as well as some extra strength training back at the huts. The accommodation was great and had a Ski Chalet like feel to them, we enjoyed some movies and post training analysis in our free time along with heaps of pasta to fuel us through the week. The training all went to plan and by the end of the week we all felt comfortable with the Mountainous Norwegian terrain and the quad sapping marshes! From here we went our separate ways; Mark and Chris went home to Edinburgh and Julie and I ventured on to Finland to take part in the biggest Relay in Orienteering: Jukola! This was an awesome experience. I had a steady performance and managed to pick up some places for the EUOC 1st team; a great way to end a great trip, I’ll certainly be back again, that’s for sure!

JWOC was a great learning experience for me, my first real taste of World Class competition, EYOC is also be a great international event but the Junior World Champs are on another level. Unfortunately I just missed out on qualification for the A final after some silly mistakes but finished 10th in the B final after a solid run. I just wish I could have had this form in the qualification round, but there is always next year and I am determined to better myself for when the opportunity arises. The long was a solid result for me but nothing special (56th) I had a technically very clean race but my body was just not cooperating and I could never push myself to race pace. In the Relay, unfortunately our first leg had a bad start and came back some minutes down, I then managed not to lose too much time to the other boys but my body was still not 100% and this makes me question if I was a little bit ill in the last two days of JWOC. My results at JWOC did nothing but fuel my motivation for the coming season. Currently I’ve been having the best winters training for me ever; no injuries and just as importantly staying healthy and no illnesses so far. I’m really excited about what the next season will bring and would once again like to thank the John Taylor Foundation for their continuing support.

Oliver Wagner – Sprinting in Fiji

I recently went to Fiji to train with some World Championship,Commonwealth and Olympic athletes. Banuve Tabakaucoro, Younis Bese, Eugene Vollmer and Leslie Copeland to name a few. The reason I went to Fiji and actually met up with these athletes is because I got the opportunity to train with them first in Dumfries in their preparation to the Commonwealth Games, they generously returned the hospitality and offered me to train with them in Fiji. This once in a lifetime offer is something I couldn’t refuse as a boy from South West Scotland. I struggled financially to make this opportunity happen, but with the help of the John Taylor Foundation I was able to reach my total and go on this amazing trip. Whilst in Fiji I took part a rigorous training routine where I trained 2 times a day for 7 days and competed on another day against the Islands finest athletes. After the trip I felt that the training made me flourish and to prove that I made the Final of two national competitions. This training camp has now pushed me on and made me more determined to get to the levels I trained with and inspire alike, this feeling is what the John Taylor Foundation is all about, helping develop athletes that otherwise wouldn’t have progressed as fast or as far. So for this reason I can not thank the John Taylor Foundation enough for their generosity.

Full speed Fiji and Scotland On the box

Lauren Munro-Bennett – Triathlete

I applied for the John Taylor Foundation Grant to help towards the cost of racing in the European AG Championships in Geneva in July 2015. It was my debut international race for GBR and I didn’t want to miss out on racing due to financial reasons, which is why I was so grateful for the grant I received from John Taylor Foundation.

I was really happy with my performance, I finished 11th female in 20-24years and third GBR athlete to finish. The race itself was very challenging – there was a strong current so it suited the stronger swimmers, but I managed to come out 6th in my wave. Then I had a pretty good bike split, managing the 40km in 1hour 10mins, although a few girls who were stronger on the bike passed me. Then it was time for the run! The run was one of the hardest runs I have done in a triathlon, a 3 lapped hilly course in scorching heat, but I managed to overtake two girls in my age group which I was pleased with, and meant I finished 11th female.

More recently I raced in the World AG Championships in Chicago which I fundraised for, and this was an incredible experience, and I managed to finish 15th and 2nd GBR athlete in my age group! I also competed in my first elite race at AJ Bell London Triathlon in August which was another highlight to my racing season this year.

Thanks again for John Taylor Foundation for enabling me to progress in the sport I love.

Lauren Munro-Bennett

Lauren exitting the swim
Lauren on the run