Attleborough shot putter Danny Nobbs resumes bid for glory
Danny Nobbs may have seen his Paralympic dreams scuppered this summer – but the Norfolk shot put ace has every reason to remain upbeat as he sets his sights on 2013 glory.
The F45 athlete's hopes of making London 2012 were dashed after the IAAF changed the throwing frame regulations one month into the qualifying period.
After losing nearly three metres on his 2011 best of 9.72m as a result, the 32-year-old has been given a new lease of life thanks to the timely intervention of Caterham Technology four months ago.
Using technology from their Formula One car, Caterham were able to construct a custom throwing frame for Nobbs and the world number three has since flourished, having improved his distance to 8.84m.
And while it may have come too late to secure a spot at the London Games, he believes that all the pieces are in place for success at both the European and World Championships next year.
'It was frustrating that they brought in the rule changes when they did,' said Nobbs, who benefits from being a member of the Lloyds TSB Local Heroes programme.
'All my training from the last seven years was with London in mind. But there's nothing I can do about that now, I just have to move on and focus towards 2013.
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'The improvements I've made with Caterham have been really great. Everyone took a hit when they changed the rules.
'The world record-holder went right down from 10.30m and is now only throwing 9.30m, so it's had an impact across the board.
'But for next season they are splitting the class – until now T45, T46 and T47 have all been together. We'll compete individually next year, which makes a massive difference as it levels the playing field quite considerably.
'The European and World Championships are on the horizon and I'm going to give them my all.'
Nobbs has not been without support on his rise through the sport, with his employer of 10 years Aviva giving him a one-year sabbatical and placing him on the front of their Paralympic poster earlier this year.And, with two months of his sabbatical remaining, the sponsorship consultant knows he owes the powers-that-be a great deal of thanks.
'I went to them about a year ago and told them I didn't want to go into 2013 with any regrets, and I certainly won't because I did everything I could,' he said. 'The year has let me focus on the little things in training which were being neglected before when I was working, and I think I'm a better athlete because of that.'
�Lloyds TSB Local Heroes, in partnership with SportsAid, provides support and funding to 346 of Britain's most talented developing athletes on their journey to London 2012 and beyond. Since 2008, the programme has supported 1,000 athletes.
Follow future stars at facebook.com/ lloydstsblocalheroes