Florence’s first multi-event experience at Hampshire

On Sunday evening (31/04/2023) my Dad and I flew to Southampton and travelled to the Premier Inn in Portsmouth which was our base for the night. I had made sure all my kit was packed, and I felt really excited for the competition the next day because it was an adventure and a fun learning experience that I knew I would enjoy!

On Monday morning we got up early and after a good breakfast we travelled to the Mountbatten Centre where the competition was being held. It was nice to see Judy there, who was completing her Level 2 officiating qualification.  We checked in and I got my number.  There were eight girls in the Under 13 Competition, including me, from lots of different clubs in Hampshire.

After looking around, I warmed up for my first event of the day: High Jump. High Jump was the event I was most nervous about because I knew it wasn’t my strongest event.  However, all the girls in the competition were really supportive and I got a new PB! Thank you to Claire for the extra High Jump coaching.

The next event of the day was the 70m Hurdles. I was really excited for the hurdles because I had been practising quite a lot, and have enjoyed the hurdles sessions at Minis with Tara.   I was particularly excited because I had never done a competitive hurdles race at this distance and height, and there was a real buzz with all eight lanes of the track being used.   I felt confident in the race and was pleased with my performance. Thank you to Pete as well as Tara for sparing some time to give me some hurdles tips!

The last event of the morning was Long Jump.  I was quite relaxed for Long Jump because I had done some competitions before and I’d had plenty of practise with Andrew and Pete at Minis. The event went well and I was pleased with how I jumped apart from next time I will need to work on my approach as I was slightly behind the board at take-off.

After long jump had finished we watched Isla Hall compete in her 3km race.  She ran extremely well, winning and getting a big PB! It was then time for some lunch and an opportunity to relax before the afternoon’s events.

There were two events in the afternoon.  The first was Shot Put.  This is not my best event, as I find the Shot quite heavy.  However, I was looking forward to the experience of competing and just tried to remember the coaching Cat had given me about keeping my elbow high and rotating and transferring my weight.  I did my best, and was very happy with my throws getting a new PB!

It then came to my last event, the 800m. I knew that this event was going to be my strongest event, as I have been doing lots of Chris Dorey’s Cross-Country races and Fun Runs, and have also had the chance to run at the Hampshire Cross-Country Championships and in the 600m in last year’s Quadrathlon and Club Championships.  However, I was still quite nervous coming into it because I had never run a competitive 800m race before and there were lots of things to remember like staying in my lane for the first hundred metres or so. I had a good lane draw (lane 4), and when the gun went I was off! I was really pleased with my race and finished first in 2 minutes 34 seconds.  Thanks to Chris, Gary and Phil for all the support they have given me.

Once we had finished, we went for a much-needed and well-earned burger with Judy, Isla and her Dad, before heading the to airport for the short flight back to Jersey.

Overall the Multi-Event Championships was an amazing experience.  I really enjoyed the challenge of doing all the different events. I made some great friends from other clubs and even the rain stayed away for most of the day!  I hope to go again next year, and that some other Jersey athletes will come as well!


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