What an experience the Glasgow Commonwealth Games were for me. Obviously I was very disappointed not to be selected back in January, but sometimes that's just the way it goes. Therefore I made the most of the opportunity for the first time to watch my opponents from afar and learn from their mistakes and positives in their preparations and performances at a major championships. Having a backstage job made this very interesting and informative as I look forward and prepare for next season.
My job at Glasgow was in Sports Presentation, liaising with the technical officials that ran the events and the media/broadcast/announcers etc. Ensuring all ran smoothly in the eyes of the spectators at the event and watching on tv. Also to support the tv coverage, I did a lot of the BBC commentary which I know many people heard and hopefully enjoyed. For the spectators on the day I also spoke to the crowd for each event, preparing them for what was going to happen and building the atmosphere.
Having this role behind the scenes was great fun, but there is obviously nothing like actually competing. Glasgow has helped me build my CV content and importantly fuelled my enthusiasm for Rio 2016.
This month has seen my training step up a gear, travelling to Ipswich for an intense training camp. Predominantly training on my own is a challenge to maintain the intensity needed. Therefore these training camps are important to help me gain 1:1 coaching and reinvigorate my training in Devon. It was great to return home and be able to cheer on the Helpful Holidays cricket team, who played Gidleigh Park Hotel. Such a beautiful day, in picturesque Chagford and raising money for a great charity. There's no place like home...
My training routine goes on as I made the trusty weekend journeys to Bisley this month. And of course during the week as well at Budleigh Farm, Moretonhampstead and Okehampton with my air pistol. Not only is technical shooting training needed, but also my physical fitness is very important to me. I've recently had new insoles to my running trainers and shooting shoes which is really helping with my posture. If you're trying to be precise, it helps if you can stand still!
Getting out on my bike, running and riding my horse as well as gym work is so enjoyable, especially with the summer upon us. Dartmoor is just a beautiful place to have as my playground. It was great to be on the Dartmoor National Park stand on the Friday of Devon County Show, as their Ambassador. We were inundated with people of all ages chatting to us about all the great places to visit on the moor and ways you can be active and enjoy the landscape. I managed to get out of horrendously boggy Devon County car park, being pulled by a tractor! First time for everything! June last year was when we made the film "A Dartmoor Adventure," what a fantastic few days that was. This June has training camps, competitions and further days in schools delivering Support & Mentoring Sessions. It's all go!
The last few weeks has been challenging as I find out I've not made Team England for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. The early announcement of the rifle and pistol team meant my more favoured event Sport Pistol is only now in full swing and the event's season hadn't started at the time of selection. But keeping my head up training is going really well. I was the top English shooter in last weekends Selection competitions. Bounce back to Rio.....
All is going well with the first Sport Pistol matches of the year a few weekends ago at Bisley, where I came 1st and 3rd. Still only the third day of Sport Pistol competitions in the UK since the 1996 Handgun Ban, and so helpful to prepare me for my next international competition in Hannover, Germany. The clocks have changed and the summer evenings are fast approaching. Keeping physically fit in the beautiful Dartmoor scenery is all year round though. I thoroughly enjoyed running the Sport Relief 6miles in Okehampton. I think it should be the taking part that counts, but the winning was much more fun!!