Reflections from a junior athlete
Its' always good to have feedback from our community, and we wanted to share these reflections from one young Bridgend athlete. We are always looking to add new members to our Junior Athlete Voice group who provide a voice for young athletes to feed in to the decision making process
Welsh Multi Events Championships November 7th 2021: A personal reflection by Junior Athlete Bethany Jenkins
Prior to taking part I was a little nervous as I have never experienced an indoor competition before. Taking part in some training at the NIAC venue really helped prepare us though. After lockdown and Covid restrictions it was a little nerve wracking competing in front of a crowd again too. I really enjoyed competing in the 5 different events and the fact that there was a variety of events to take part in on the day. This made me want to try harder in the ones I’m not so good at to have a better score overall.
I really enjoyed being around a lot of my Bridgend AC friends for the day and having people around to support me. Having my coaches nearby helped a lot with my confidence, and I think helped improve my performance on the day. Although I didn’t have any other girls from my own club competing in my age group, it was great chatting to girls from other clubs and getting to know some of them. The most challenging event for me was the 800m knowing that everyone else was good at it. I tried to push hard so I could get the result I really wanted and came away with a PB! Also, I found shotput really challenging as I didn’t think that I had enough practice and that I may not have been ready for the glide technique. However, I managed to get my confidence up and get three throws in. Surprisingly, I struggled a bit in long jump which is one of my favourite events but with a coach right next to me encouraging me, helped me get better jumps. I really enjoyed the hurdles event and this an event I’d really like to improve on in the future. Even though this was still my first time I managed to get 8th place out of 16 which I’m very proud of. I was overjoyed to see my team mate and friend Bethan Deeks win the overall U14s Gold Medal. Having someone from our club win that was great for all of us.
Things I found challenging and would do differently next time:
I found it challenging hearing the officials as they were quite quiet in a loud place, especially with masks on. This ended up with me almost not getting a practise jump if I didn’t speak up. I will speak up next time if I don’t understand or hear something. I also found the long gaps in between quite challenging. Personally, I would eat and drink a lot more next time to have more energy over the day and maybe perform better. I also need to work on my long jump run up a little more and my glide technique in shot put. Next year I’m moving to a new age group which will give me an even newer experience which I’m looking forward to. For next time, I will try to develop more and improve my skills so I can perform even better.
Overall, I really enjoyed this experience and am very thankful for anyone who helped and supported me.
Thank you so much Bethany for sharing your experience with us! Welsh Athletics are working to implement a competition strategy which will encourage young athletes to continue to do run, jump and throw events up to U15 before considering specialising.