Country: Great Britain
Profession: Athlete – Shot put
- 2022 World Indoor Champs finalist
- 2020 British Champion (indoors)
- 2018 British Champion
- 2018 Commonwealth Games finalist
What is the beauty of shot put for you?
It is obviously a very technical event, and it takes a lot of strength and power. I love that so many different types of athletes can do the shotput and be successful at it. It has traditionally been a sport for taller woman and I’m not the tallest, but I’ve tried to make my technique as good as possible to take everything I can from myself and put it into the throw even though I don’t have the height of some of the girls.
What superstitions do you maybe have while competing (or leading up to the meeting)?
I don’t have any superstitions. However, I make sure my nails are done before every competition. I like to do them all different colours. I paint them myself, so I try to do different designs and get creative.
Too many young girls worry about weight and putting on muscle if they play sport. Have you ever battled with body image? And What words of encouragement do you have for young female athletes when it comes to worrying about how they look?
I think it’s really important to accept yourself no matter what. Everyone has things they are self-conscious about at the end of the day. Even I sometimes get self conscious about my muscles when I’m wearing more girly clothes, but at the end of the day this is this is me. This is me, in a body that is able to perform, and maybe a body that doesn’t throw as far as from the top girls yet, but we are getting there. You just have to remind yourself that you’re doing something amazing, and your body helps you do that.
Microbiology is an interesting study field, what made you pursue a degree in this area?
I always really loved science as a kid. Growing up I used to be obsessed with dinosaurs and liked palaeontology and archaeology! Microbiology is very interesting and I did like it at school but it was very challenging and certainly tested me. However, looking back, I do wish I had done something more in sports because that has always been my true love. I am really grateful that I’ve had the experiences that I had and I’m able to be a professional athlete and it’s amazing not many people could say they do this for a job!
Having dual citizenship, what are the best parts of American and British culture for you?
I was raised mostly by my mom, who is English from the Stoke-on-Trent area in the UK. What I love most about the English culture is how everything is ‘keep calm and carry on’ and about determination. In contrast you also have the ideal of the American dream. I do really like the UK, even though it maybe it is not as nice weather wise and it rains a lot, my heart is definitely in the UK. I visited so many times growing up and my family is there, that is why I’ve always wanted to represent Great Britain.
The best part about the US is California. The sun, the weather, is just so nice and lifts your mood. When it’s hot and sunny you get to go outside for training, with shotput being an outdoor sport the weather can play such an important role.
We really enjoyed browsing through your travel highlights, which city have you enjoyed the most and why?
For competitions I loved Berlin, I travelled there in 2018 for the European Championships. It was my first major championships. I had just won British championships for the first time (even though I wasn’t supposed to make the final!). Driving past all the historical monument such as the The Victory Column was just so inspiring. In terms of just me and enjoying myself, I would say Positano, Italy. My partner and I went on holiday there and it was just so beautiful, you know when something absolutely captures your heart because of its beauty. That place is for sure my number one place.
Can you tell us more about your pet dog and where did the name Mango come from?
Mango is my child; he is a little white toy poodle. His name is mango because we wanted a food name. My boyfriend and I wanted something that both of us really liked. When we got him he was a little bit ginger and more like a brownie color but he’s faded ‘cause poodles have a fading gene and so now he is white. It just suits him to a tee; he’s got such character. He is a lovely dog and I love him to bits.