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Sophie Papps – November 2014: Looking ahead after a mixed year

Sophie Papps – November 2014: Looking ahead after a mixed year

Jean Pickering Olympic Scholarship recipient Sophie Papps looks back on a year which has provided both some highs and lows in her athletics career

This year has been a mixed bag of emotions for me. I made three international teams, competed in my first ever senior world indoor championships in Poland, ran in my first Grand Prix event in Birmingham and raced the Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price! It was the best thing I’d ever done, proving to me that the move to Bath and to my then new coach Dan Cossins was the best decision I have ever made, and thanks to the Jean Pickering Olymipic Scholarship grant it was all possible!

Then unfortunately during warm weather training I picked up an injury which would go on to affect me for almost eight months on and off both physically and mentally. It was tough to handle after the greatest indoor season I’d ever had and the best training I’d ever put together but injury happens and unfortunately it happened to me.

I’ve learnt so much this year about myself, my team, my coach, my family and how athletics actually isn’t an individual sport, we may stand out of the track alone in our own lane but it’s a whole team effort. I trust in my coach and my training programme and I know no matter what happens he believes in me. My family have comforted and looked after me more than ever, putting up with the ups and downs of being the family of a injured athlete. I’m also lucky enough to have the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund as part of my team, as without the funding they have given me my year would have been very different. I wouldn’t have been able to stay in Bath with my coach, my additional needs wouldn’t have been paid for and the specialist equipment I have wouldn’t have been bought without them.

I am back into training now and lucky enough to be on the British Athletics Futures programme which means I have the medical support and the people to guide me on my way to a better 2015. It’s great to be back at the track and in the gym and I can’t wait to see how the next few months will go in the lead up to what should be another great year for British athletics!

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