Stella Radford is our 21st Athlete to speak to us about making the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships Team. Members of the Spark Team will compete in Eugene (USA), from July 22nd to 27th 2014.
How did you get involved in Athletics?
Always loved racing, but never got to do little aths. After house aths at high school in year 8 I decided to quit gymnastics and start aths with Coburg Harriers.
When you first heard that you made the team, what was your initial reaction?
I felt so so much relief and excitement. I knew I had worked really hard for it, but knew others had as well, so also felt very lucky. I was totally ready to go out and celebrate after the long season.
Are you doing anything differently in preparation for this competition?
I started with a great new coach after nationals, so training has been a bit different. Also, being at uni has allowed me to dedicate a lot more time to training and recovery, very unlike year twelve. As always though, I’m both nervous and excited preparing for this competition.
What are you most looking forward to about the trip to Eugene (USA)?
There is so much to be excited for! I have never been overseas so just to be in Canada and the USA will be awesome. The pre-comps sound like they will be a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone better too. I also can’t wait to go to the University of Oregon and see all of the other national teams.
Who has been your biggest inspiration in this sport?
I have not had any one single role model, but rather multiple people who I admire in the sport. In year eight and nine, before I was very competitive, I remember being so impressed by both Leigh Roux and Leah Polycarpou who were my training partners and incredible runners. Recently as I have connected with more runners I have come to be inspired by even more amazing people, such as Kelly Hetherington and Georgie Buckley.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to become a professional Athlete?
I don’t think I qualify to answer this, but anyway, from what I gather balance seems to be the key. I believe sport should only ever be for fun, so it’s important to not be too serious all the time.