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Decathlete, Martin BrockmanMartin Brockman

Martin Brockman, the JWCT’s first grant recipient, is a decathlete from Maidstone, Kent and a member of Medway & Maidstone Athletics Club. Decathlon is a multi-discipline event which consists of the 100 metres, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400 metres, 110 metre hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, and 1,500 metres, and involves extensive training and high equipment costs.

GrantsReports

April 2010

“I have attached my review of last year. I now have a list of competitions I will be competing at this summer (hopefully ending with the Commonwealth Games) if you would like to come and watch and hopefully I will do better than I did at Watford when you last came to see me! My competitions are:

Kent Championships: 8/9 May
Woodford Green Decathlon: 15/16 May
National Decathlon (Stoke) 5/6 June

After these competitions I will wait to see if I get offered any international competitions and either compete at those or find my own in England and abroad. On sponsorship news I thought I would let you know that I have been offered sponsorship from a law firm in Maidstone. Asb Law have offered me £500 and then further £500 increments for achieving targets they have set throughout the season up to £2,000 between now and October which is good news.”

October 2009

"Here is my review for the end of the season. It's been an interesting year with some success but I can't help but feel disappointed because I know that I could have scored much more. I have taken the positives out of it and I am set to start training for next year where I am going to become number 1 in the country!:

This year I had big expectations for myself, my main aims being to win a medal at the national competition and to score close to 7,400 points. I began the year well when I achieved three personal bests in my first competition of the year at the Kent Championships. These were in the hurdles, pole vault and long jump. After these performances I was very much looking forward to my first decathlon the next week.

That decathlon was the Woodford Green decathlon, however, when I arrived it turned out to be the worst conditions I had ever competed in and therefore my decathlon didn’t come together quite as I’d planned. I finished on 6,580 points, someway short of my target. I then had one month before my next decathlon which was at the National Champtionships in Stoke. Unfortunately at some point during that month I picked up a slight shoulder injury which affected my performance in the pole vault and javelin. However, a number of other good performances, including another personal best in the hurdles and long jump as well as the shot putt, 400m and 1,500m, meant that my final score came out at a respectable 7,255 points taking second place, just three points behind first place. Agonisingly close yet I had still achieved my target of winning a medal and returned home happy.

After getting rid of my shoulder problem I then got set for my international competition to be held in Watford against France and the Netherlands. Again, being in good shape, things did not go my way when I became ill in the week leading up to the competition. Not one to give up I entered the competition anyway but it was clear from the start I was not going to score well. I finished in fifth place overall but with a disappointing score.

The International at Watford was supposed to be my last competition of the year but since they had not gone as well as I had planned I decided to enter the Kent Combined Events Championships later on in the year. I planned to enter the competition for fun more than anything and did not train particularly hard for it. However, after jumping just 1cm short of my best in the long jump I realised I was in better shape than I thought and decided to go for a good score. I finished the competition in first place and set a new championship record in the process. This has given me the much needed confidence to go on to train hard for next season where hopefully I will have a bit more luck in my competitions.

I have set my target high for next year at 7,700 points, the qualifying mark for the European Championships in Barcelona and for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi. Although it was high I think it is achievable with a lot of hard work and determination and if I don’t quite make it it will set me up well for the Olympics two years later.

My coaching has gone very well this year, you could say better than my competing. Three of my athletes qualified for national level competitions as well as many others gaining medals at the Kent Indoor and Outdoor Championships. The group is still growing in size and has many talented athletes in it. I am hoping that we will match the success of this year, which I am sure they will because they all work exceptionally hard."

June 2009

“Just to let you know how I got on at the weekend. I went to Stoke to compete at the National Decathlon Championships. Overall the weekend went very well with the results as follows: 100m - 11.57s; Long jump - 7.06m (pb); Shot putt - 12.62m (pb); High jump - 2.07m; 400m - 50.11s (pb); 110m Hurdles - 15.29s (pb); Discus - 35.63m, Pole vault - 4.26m; Javelin - 46.56m; 1,500m – 4min 29.69sec; Final result: 7255pts (pb)

After day one I was in first place. Going into the 1,500m I needed to beat the person in first by 6.5 seconds but after running a personal best I knew it was about that. The final result was that I was beaten into second place by three points. Disappointing but I'll get him next time! Overall a good weekend but there's still room for improvement, aiming for 7,300-7,400 points by the end of the year.”

May 2009

"After another year, and another grant, I have now improved from 6,500 points to 7,000 points making me the tenth ranked decathlete and the third ranked U23 decathlete in the country. I had a very successful season in 2008 which started with the National Combined Events Championships in Birmingham where I scored 6,945 points. This gained fifth place, which I was pleased with, although disappointed by the fact that I had come so close to achieving my target for the season of 7,000 points.

After my success at the national decathlon I was selected to represent Great Britain for the first time in an international combined events competition between Great Britain, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands to be held in Ashford. With Ashford being so close to my home I had great support from my friends, family, the Willsons and some of the athletes I coach. Although my first day did not start the way I’d have liked it to, with average performances in the 100m, long jump and shot putt, I had a huge personal best in the high jump with 2.10m, putting me back on track for a good score. With personal bests on the second day in the hurdles, pole vault and javelin in was left needing to run 4min 31sec to achieve my target of 7000 points. I finished the race in a time of 4 min 30.16sec for a new personal best and a total score of 7016 points placing me in fifth place in the competition.

This winter I have used a large amount of my JWCT funding on training in Spain. In November I went to Spain for two weeks of altitude training where I gained permission to train at the elite training centre in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I then returned to Spain in April for warm weather training leading up to the start of the season. Both of these trips went well; and I am now in good shape for the season. I have my first decathlon in May 2009, followed by the National Championships in June 2009 where I am aiming to win a medal. I am also aiming to score 7500 points this season which I am hoping will gain me a place in the senior Great Britain team.

On the coaching side of my athletics my athletes have also shown great success. Two of the athletes in the group competed at English Schools in the 2008 season and they have all already shown they are in good form for the 2009 season by winning 11 medals between them in the Kent Indoor Championships. They have all shown improvement this year and the group is continuing to grow bigger and bigger. I am now coaching approximately 20 athletes."

July 2008

Because of excellent performances earlier in the season, Martin was selected to represent Great Britain in the U23 Decathlon International at Ashford, Kent on 26 July 2008. He scored an overall personal best (PB) of 7016pts and in the process also achieved PBs in five of the individual ten events. Martin was supported by Nick, Tricia and Tom (one of Jeremy’s brothers), who saw him achieve a superb 2.10 metres PB in the high jump event.

Afterwards, Martin said “I've completed my season where I wanted to be and am already looking forward to next year, especially as next year’s international might be somewhere more exotic than Ashford! Thank you again for sponsoring me this year, hopefully I'll do as well next year and make the senior team for the European Cup.”

September 2007

Recipient of a JWCT grant, decathlete Martin Brockman competed in the Kent Combined Events Championships competition in Erith at the end of the athletics season on 15 and 16 September 2007. Martin surprised himself by achieving a new personal best points tally of 6,436 points. This was an improvement of almost 300 points on his previous personal best. In the course of the two days of intensive competition Martin recorded personal bests in no less than six of the events including his first 2-metre high jump. The competition was watched over the weekend by his family and by Jeremy’s family Nick, Tricia, Matt and Tom. Martin said that after the competition it had taken him five days before he could use his legs again properly!

During 2007, he has moved from 25th in the country at U20s to 18th at senior level which he says is more than he hoped for. He continues with his training and is setting himself tough targets for 2008, with support from the JWCT.

Click here for newspaper report in the Kent Messenger.


The Jeremy Willson Charitable Trust
a charity registered in England and Wales. No. 1114871