My name is Emma Denham, a final year student at Bournemouth University studying Forensic Science. I have been honoured to be awarded a sports scholarship throughout my studies.
I am a disabled athlete, being classified in 2018 as a T/F37 competitor. At the end of last year’s 2021 season, I was 1st in the UK for long jump, 4th for shot putt and 5th for 100m. My aims for this 2022 season are to increase both speed and distance in my events, aiming for international classification.
The 2022 season started off promisingly, with an initial offer to compete in the World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Dubai this March. Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions, it has since been decided that GB will not be allowing athletes to attend the international classification meeting the week prior to the competition, so I am unable to compete. Fingers crossed GB will accept those awaiting classification for the next competition in June in Tunisia!
My first competition of the 2022 season was at the EIS Sheffield for BUCS Nationals. Due to Covid, I haven’t been to the indoor BUCS championships since 2019, so it was great to be back in a familiar environment and wear my BU kit with pride. I am very happy with my performances at the weekend, with two new personal bests, and three medals!
Firstly, I competed in the ambulant 60m and got a new PB, reducing my time by 0.87seconds and a bronze medal. Annoyingly, I had a terrible start, as we were only allowed one practice and my starting blocks were not right, but was then unable to alter them. I am very happy I still managed to reduce my time by nearly a whole second even with a bad start.
After a day off, I returned to the EIS, and competed in the ambulant shot. It was my first time competing at an indoor shot competition, and was delighted to get a new personal best, increasing my distance by 5cm: every little helps! Again, I received a bronze medal and was on the podium.
Later in the day, I competed in my favourite and best event, the ambulant long jump. Unfortunately, I didn’t have as good a day at the office as I had with the other events. I couldn’t get my run-up correct, with the surface quite different to my training track; I believe it was making me run too fast and resulting in lots of no jumps. I was still however able to get a few legal jumps in; nothing spectacular but enough to get me a gold medal!
I hope the rest of this season goes as well as the beginning, and that more personal bests are to come. My next competition shall be Easter weekend at my home club, so I’m hoping great things will come from that.