Tom Hewson, former pupil from John Hanson Community School in Andover, became the U17 Boys Javelin Champion in a recent competition in Dublin.
Tom was delighted to win the U17 boys javelin competition for Team England at the Home Countries Schools International on Saturday 15 July in Dublin, with a personal best throw of 68.16m.
This performance would not have been possible without careful preparation with Mark Bradford, Tom’s coach at Andover Athletic Club, timing Tom’s first “peak” of the season for this time of the year, so all his winter training (weight-lifting, gym work and throwing) as well as the competitions at the beginning of the season were leading up to this point.
At the end of June, Tom had travelled to Finland to spend a week at the Pihtiputaan keihäskarnevaalit, a javelin training camp involving top Finnish throwers and coaches and international visitors from the UK and South Africa.
At this camp, Tom learned a tremendous amount and competed against exceptional athletes, just a week before the English Schools’ Athletics Championships in Birmingham.
This was Tom’s third time of competing in the English schools’ competition and in his two previous performances came away with silver medals. Last year Tom competed as a year 10 student against year 11 students, so this year he was at the top of the age category.
He came into the English championships at the top of the UK rankings and won the competition with a throw of 64.22 (his PB at the time) – this ensured his selection for Team England at the Dublin competition.
Tom is very grateful to the Hampshire Talented Athlete Scheme for inviting him to a series of sports psychology lectures over the last year. He has been under pressure going into the big competitions this season, as the favourite to win, and therefore has needed to be mentally as well as physically strong.
In addition he has also had to juggle GCSE revision and training. He commented that it had also been great to have the support of the PE Department at John Hanson School, in particular, Mike Green (Head of PE), who was able to attend the English Schools competition to support him.
During his school career he has always studied and worked to a high standard across his school subjects whilst maintaining his fitness and training in the athletics field of javelin.
Tom said “I am over the moon to have thrown 68m, to be 14th in Europe for my age is truly incredible, but it would have been impossible without the support from everyone around me.”
Mike Green said “It was the proudest moment of my teaching career to be able to witness Tom win the National accolade and he thoroughly deserves the title due to his attention to detail in his determination to continue to improve along with his coach at Andover Athletics Club. I have taught very few students who have had the same commitment to their discipline.”
He went on to say “Tom furthered his success by winning the home Countries event in Dublin last weekend to make him GB champion, with a throw of 68.16 metres, which was the 14th longest throw in GB history at under 17 level.”
“Putting this achievement into perspective, Olympic silver medallist Steve Backley and former world record holder only threw 64 metres as an under 17. We wish Tom well in the future with his javelin journey.”
You can follow Tom on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tomhewsonjt.