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.
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."
“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
"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."
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.”
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!
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
for newspaper report in the Kent Messenger.