Wednesday, 28 September 2011



I’m a visually impaired athlete in search of a sprinter who is able to train with me at least twice per week. Ideally, this would be on a Monday and Wednesday evening from about 6.30pm, as I train with Charnwood AC at Loughborough University.

What you need to know:
£9 per hour
40p per mile (for travel to competitions)
No experience required
Must be able to run 100m in 12.5secs
Looking to qualify for Paralympics 2012

My stats:
100m PB 14.91 – 2012 B Standard 14.80 – 2012 A Standard 14.25
200m PB 32.22 – 2012 B Standard 30.30 – 2012 A Standard 28.65
Long Jump PB 3.21 – 2012B Standard 3.30 – 2012 A Standard 3.80

If interested or for more information please contact me at:



Sunday, 25 September 2011


I stayed at the Pickalbatros Aqua Fun Club Hotel in Marrakech Morocco from 15-22 September. I have to say it’s one of the best hotels I have stayed in and I’ve travelled an awful lot. All Inclusive food can sometimes become samey, but they had a good variety. The only downside was that the free ice-cream was only for kids! Within the complex was an aqua park, which made the place unique. I’ve never been a big slide person, but dared myself to go down some of the smaller ones. They also had a wave pool, which you could just swim in or go on a small boat. I went on a boat with my dad and warned him that if we fell out I wasn’t sure if I could touch the floor, I’m not a very strong swimmer at all. Halfway around the waves seemed to get rougher, the boat spun around and one came in slow motion towards the side of the boat. Whoosh! It capsized and I went under. At no point did my dad attempt to save me, he was too busy saving himself! I could just touch the floor with my feet when the waves weren’t there, but it was a nightmare! Two life guards came to help us back in the boat, which was now filled to the rim with water. I was relieved to get back to the start and get out, but saying that on reflection, I did quite enjoy the experience!

Other entertainment in the hotel included mini golf where I got a few hole in ones, how I don’t know, free pool, a tennis court, which my parents always play and a kids playground (who doesn’t like the swings)!

The holiday flew by and we only ended up leaving the hotel once on the free shuttle service to the nearest town. It was another world from the hotel, Morocco is still very much a developing country. I lost count of the times I nearly got run over by a moped, which apparently don’t have to stay on the roads. There were also loads of people that travel by horse and carriage, which was quite surreal, as they made their way through the immense traffic. Here we have to slow down for horses, but no chance there! We did want to climb the Atlas Mountains, but the time just went.

Good weather, good food and great facilities made a brilliant holiday!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Paralympic Tickets

Last Friday tickets for the London 2012 Paralympic Games went on sale and applications will remain open until Monday 26 September at 6pm. I found viewing the official timetable very surreal. For example, on Tuesday 4 September 2012 I could either be living my dream in the T11 100m heats or sitting in the stands kicking myself for not working hard enough, although I’m 100% certain I would have done everything possible to make my ambition a reality. Likewise, on Friday 7 September 2012, I don’t want to be wishing I was competing in the F11/12 long jump; I want to be doing it! I’m being more realistic about my chances of qualifying for the 200m, as I need to slash 2 seconds just for the B standard. What I did find interesting about the timetable, is that the visually impaired categories seem to be one of the hardest, as they have heats, semi finals and finals. Some classifications may just have a straight final, most likely because the event is still developing.

So, I will be applying for tickets for the above dates, in the hope my family can watch a miracle unfold! At times I find it challenging to keep my passion, determination and focus, as when people rightly ask ‘have you qualified for the games?’ I have to say no, but then feel like I’m defending myself when explaining I’m close. I am also a nobody in terms of the amount of top Paralympic athletes Great Britain and Northern Ireland have. Therefore, you’re unlikely to see me in the media like many other athletes, but I was given the opportunity to appear in my local paper. It was a comprehensive telephone interview, yet I only got two lines and was misquoted at that. Saying that I’m grateful to be recognised nonetheless. You can view the article here: Paralympic Leicester Mercury Article 09/09/2011

At the foot of the article there is a link to the official Paralympic ticketing website. Prices for tickets start at just £10, which include a day travel pass for London. Both my events can be purchased at this incredibly reasonable fee and if you have as much confidence as I do in myself, I urge you to apply. Hell, I urge you to apply anyway, as I promise it will be an amazing showcase of Paralympic talent, grit and determination!

When you feel like you’re at the end of the rope, tie a knot and hang on!

Sunday, 11 September 2011


Where were you ten years ago to the day? Most of us can’t remember what we did last week, never mind a decade ago, but some dates just stick with you forever. On 11 September 2001 I was thirteen years old. I should have been at school, instead, I was at home ill with my mum who was also ill and really must have been suffering to miss a day at work. Whilst I’m sure we were feeling sorry for ourselves, who would have thought that feeling ill could be made so trivial.

I clearly remember it being around lunchtime and we were watching Crossroads on TV. The programme was interrupted for breaking news in America. The first plane had already hit the north tower and we witnessed the second plane hitting the south tower. I remember I was lying on the sofa and had acquired the art of just listening to the TV, as opposed to sitting on top of it to see what was happening. So, I did not see any of the live images and definitely didn’t understand the magnitude of the attack. At the time I wasn’t emotionally affected by the events unfolding before me, I had never even heard of the twin towers, yet remained watching it all for hours.

Over the years I have watched the various documentaries about the day, the amazing survivor stories, the brave emergency services efforts and the tragic loss of thousands of innocent lives. It wasn’t until a few years later watching these shows that I learnt that there were two further planes, the one that went into the Pentagon and the one that the passengers gained control back and crashed it into a field.

Ten years on, I have been transfixed to the television once more, much wiser and much more sympathetic, as I’ve watched the various memorial ceremonies taking place across the world. For some reason this morning three thousand people who lost their lives didn’t seem to be a massive number. However, the roll call at Ground Zero put it into perspective. Listening to the endless names from every culture imaginable made 9/11 and its significance hit home. It’s impossible to comprehend why and how human beings would want to and did commit mass murder, suicide and general terror.

Where were you on this day ten years ago...

Sunday, 4 September 2011

World Championships 2011

The thirteenth IAAF Athletics World Championships took place in Daegu over nine days from 27 August to 4 September. The event failed to disappoint with its high drama and nail biting performances. The Aviva Great Britain and Northern Island Team had a target of seven medals including one gold and managed to surpass this by getting two golds.

The top podium step performances came from Dai Green in the men’s 400m hurdles and Mo Farah over 5000m. Mo also clinched a silver medal over 10000m, which could have so easily been gold, but a gutsy run nonetheless. Another athlete with guts was Hannah England who sprinted for her life at the end of a competitive 1500m to grab an unexpected, but well deserved silver. 110m hurdler Andy Turner controversially picked up the bronze after winner Dayron Robles was disqualified for impeding another athlete. Our final medal was picked up by Phillips Idowu in the men’s triple jump who despite leaping to a season’s best performance only came away with silver.

Whilst Great Britain achieved their target set, there were so many missed opportunities. 800m runner Jenny Meadows who medalled at the last games failed to make the final despite being in good form. Perry Shakes Drayton agonisingly missed the 400m hurdles final by 0.01secs. The most shocking had to be Christina Ohuruogu who false started in the 400m and got disqualified. Another false starter was the experienced Dwain Chambers in the 100m semi final. Tiffany Porter was unlucky to finish fourth in the 100m hurdles after clattering one towards the finish. On the infield, both of our top long jumpers went out injured and ever improving Holly Bleasdale no heighted in the pole vault qualification.

Elsewhere, the biggest shock of the games came from the most famous athlete in the sport, Usain Bolt who unbelievably false started in the men’s 100m final and was effectively disqualified. Oscar Pistorius made history by being the first amputee athlete to compete at a major athletics championship. The South African did well to make it to the 400m semi final and won a 4x400m silver medal despite being left out of the squad for the final even though he was the quickest of their athletes. Sally Pearson and Alyson Felix were the stand out athletes for me, Sally was just 0.07secs away from the 100m hurdles world record, whilst Alyson collected two golds, a silver and bronze from the relays, 200m and 400m. As a country Kenya were outstanding dominating the women’s distance events, as well as doing exceptional in the men’s. Perhaps I’m slightly bias there, as my dad was born in Kenya! One thing that niggled me in the championships that no world records were being broken, but thankfully and surprisingly, as Asafa Powell was injured, the Jamaican 4x100m relay team with the lightning bolt on the anchor leg smashed the world record powering to 37.04secs.

Channel 4’s coverage of the games had its ups and downs. The amount of athletics shown was immense, yet at times the commentating was below par. In my opinion the ex athletes, such as Michael Johnson and Iwan Thomas did the better jobs. Overall, an inspiring, fascinating and drama filled games, I can’t wait for next year’s European Championships and Olympic Games!

Daegu Delivered!