Josh Clarke is our 2nd Athlete to speak to us about making the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships Team. Members of the team will compete in Eugene (USA), from July 22nd to 27th 2014.
How did you get involved in Athletics?
I first got seriously involved in athletics at high school. That is where I first met my coach Nancy Atterton, who has guided me ever since I started in Year 7. I owe a lot to Nancy whose experience and wealth of knowledge has benefited me greatly throughout my short athletics career.
When you first heard that you made the team, what was your initial reaction?
My initial reaction was relief. World Juniors 2014 had been a goal that Nancy and I shared ever since I took up athletics seriously at 15, so to eventually achieve what she and I had set out for myself four years ago was neat.
Are you doing anything differently in preparation for this competition?
With regards to my training, not really. Probably the biggest difference between the preparation for this competition and those previous is that I have taken a gap year just to focus on training and giving myself time to do all the little things right. I’m going to need to be in PB shape to even think about mixing it with the guys that will be competing over in Eugene, so I decided to give myself the best chance of doing that by eliminating the distraction of uni, whilst also allowing the quality of my training to be maximised.
What are you most looking forward to about the trip to Eugene (USA)?
There are many things I am looking forward to about the trip. Firstly, competing at the championships and the whole experience of being at a major competition. Secondly, the chance to travel and see different parts of the world. Thirdly, forging new friendships with my fellow team mates and creating some great memories together.
Who has been your biggest inspiration in this sport?
My family and more specifically my parents. They sacrifice a lot for me so I can do what I do. I can’t thank them enough for everything they do for me and the support they give me. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for them. Hopefully one day I can repay them somehow.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to become a professional Athlete?
- Surround yourself with a great team.
- Be prepared to make sacrifices.
- Have the ability to think for yourself.