Strange title but lets wait and see.
Shortly after starting coaching at Yate, a man turned up one day and asked if their was anybody in the Club that would be interested in coaching disabled athletes, his name was Job King from British Athletics. Well i jumped at the chance and was promptly introduced to a young lady who was in a wheel chair, so wheelchair racing it was. Ah first problem i knew nothing about racing in wheelchairs so i tagged on as a volunteer with Job where ever he went. Yep picked it up quick, started to help job out and began to coach wheelchair racing for British Athletics. I now have been a wheelchair racing coach for about 7/8yrs and still travel to loughborough and lee valley to help when i’m needed.
So i was needed or so i thought, August 5th 2012, i was asked by Job to support the first Invictus games trials in london, “could i do the wheelchair racing” of coarse i can. So in a week i was off to Lee Valley to assist in racing, but the day before i had a phone call from the athletics head coach who said they didn’t need me for racing anymore as there was only one coming, ” darn” i thought. ” Can you coach throws instead” i was asked, well yes i’m a multi event coach anyway so of coarse i can. So off we go to lee valley where there are lots of servicemen and women, absolutely fab to work with. So yep i coached Shot put, Discus, Javelin, little story their, one of the guys threw the javelin let out a scream and held his back, “whats up i said” “broken back” came the reply and he promptly picked another javelin to have another go and off he went. So mid afternoon yep Prince Harry and William arrive to look around the first Games. Now the atmospheres changed, lots of clicking cameras and press.
A couple of the guys asked if i would show them how to throw the hammer so i said yes, we entered the cage and one of them said that i had better not throw because Prince Harry is crossing the infield, and their he was side stepping across the infield in front of the hammer cage. So we let him get across. We threw the hammers and went to collect them and back he came Prince Harry, shook our hands and then we had a conversation about crossing the infield. I can honestly say for the first time meeting prince Harry he is such a nice guy, very down to earth and great to talk to, a real pleasure and a memory i wont forget. So that’s the first time i met Harry, the next time was at the games themselves.
Oh yes forgot to say, 3 weeks after the trials i had an email from the head coach saying that they had been very impressed with my coaching, would i like to be the throws coach at the First Invictus Games in London for team GB. It took me about a minute to reply, OMG my first big call up.
So whats it like walking out in front of thousands of people wearing a GB top for the first time?…maybe i will tell you one day!!