Discus thrower Oliver Massingham is ready to take on the world in 2017
- Credit: YNSA
Our latest Young Norfolk Sports Academy update comes from 18-year-old Paston Sixth Form College student Oliver Massingham.
I began throwing the discus at age 15 – after throwing shot put for two years I realised that it just wasn't for me – and in these three years with my new coach we have developed my throwing to the level it is at today.
In 2015, my first year of formal discus training, I broke the county championship record and placed second at the English Schools Championship, England Athletics U17 Championships and SIAB Schools International, representing England.
Last year was one of development as it was my first year at under-20s, I began my season by training with the world's top coach, Vésteinn Hafsteinsson, in Sweden which was an amazing experience.
In 2016 in the end I finished fourth at the England championships and fifth at English schools as well as breaking the county schools record and finishing the season as the top discus thrower at any age in Norfolk this season. Overall whilst 2016 was a year of development and preparation, the progress was good.
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Over the winter, many technical breakthroughs have been made as my strength and flexibility continue to grow.
Thanks to help and advice given by YNSA staff I am deep in preparation for next season as I have just been shortlisted for a team to compete at the ISF World Schools Championship in France in June.
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In addition to this I hope to break the county championship and overall records and place highly at both the England and English Schools Championships.
I believe this would all be possible as my form is already promising as shown by a PB in the shot put earlier this year.
Throughout my time throwing discus, the YNSA have shown massive support including giving me access to a top gym and putting on talks on nutrition, which has helped with my training by both giving me more energy and aiding my recovery, and psychological support which has helped me achieve more by conquering competition nerves.
I would like to thank the YNSA, my parents and my coach Gary Howe for their continued support.
n Massingham is a member of City of Norwich Athletic Club and is currently 25th in the UK men's discus ranking after throwing 41.34 metres at a Sweatshop Southern Athletics League Meeting at Grays last month.
For more information about the YNSA, go to www.ynsa.org.uk