March 12 2014 Latest news:
Friday, December 27, 2013
The immediate future of cross country in Great Britain may look rosy, but there is someone looking to make sure it remains that way over the years to come.
Havering Mayesbrook AC’s Lauren Deadman was part of the gold medal-winning GB team at the recent European Cross Country Championships in Belgrade, but when she’s not competing for her country, she’s busy teaching PE at Dagenham Park school.
And while the 28-year-old is enjoying a solid start to the cross country campaign herself, she plays an important part in promoting the sport to youngsters.
“I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t feel I could make a difference,” she said.
“It’s important to look to the future and see what is coming through. As a teacher you can spot potential and I feel it is part of my job to promote the sport.
“Athletics has been great for me and is a big part of my life, and if you can help pave the way for the next crop of youngsters then great.”
One such youngster – Abdul Mohamed – has flourished in the sport during his time at the school.
The 16-year-old sixth former has only been taking athletics seriously for around a year, but scooped the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham sports person of the year recently, and continues to show progress.
But it’s not just him who Deadman believes can make an impact on the sport, as the school picked up the Borough cross country title.
“Abdul is one of many at the school who are showing promise,” she added. “The school was recently at the trials for the English Schools Borough Cross Country trials.
“We’d finished second the year before so it was nice to go one better this time and win.
“You can see the kids enjoying the sport, and that’s when they do their best.”
On an individual level, as well as the international honours for Deadman, it’s been a very fruitful start to the cross country season.
She finished eighth in the European trials in Liverpool to earn selection for the gold medal winning Team GB at the Championships in Belgrade at the start of December.
And she has also now been selected to run for the country again in the Edinburgh Cross County International against Team Europe and USA on January 11.
“It’s still early days in the cross country season but things have started really well for me,” she added.
“It was a tough race in Belgrade for the European Championships but it was a great experience to win the gold.
“It was hard work from the start, but it’s extra special to win the gold, having won bronze with the team four years ago in Dublin.
“For me it’s been great and I can continue to perform well in the New Year. After the event in Edinburgh there’s the Southern Championships and then the Nationals so it’s certainly going to be a busy one.”
Generally the festive period is a time of over indulgence in the food department by one and all, but Deadman certainly knows her limits, and admits there may even be a run for her on Christmas day!
“I usually have a day off every week to give me time to recuperate, but the Christmas period is no different,” she said.
“You can still sit down and enjoy Christmas, but you still have to do necessary exercise. I’ll still keep up with my routine over the period and I may run on Christmas Day.
“You have to put the work in but I have been competing for a number of years so I know what I can and can’t do.”