Athlete Spotlight – Charlotte Buckley
Her prowess at 800m and 1500m has ranked her consistently in the top 10 nationally for her age group, while her grit during the winter sees her regularly challenging for – and winning county and regional – honours.
She has been a truly bright prospect since first competing for TVH six years ago and has gone from strength to strength since then, invariably turning in great performances for the club.
How did you get into athletics?
I was lucky enough to have an inspirational PE teacher at primary school called Romilly Hunt. He got me involved in cross country and athletics among other sports, and I have many happy memories of the events that the school entered, including the TVH primary school relays, which was where I first found out about the club.
Which achievements in the sport are your proudest of?
My best winter season came as an U13 with wins at the London Youth Games and Southern Inter-counties cross country. I also got the fastest lap at the National Road Relays where our TVH team finished 4th, and 6th at the UK Inter-counties cross country.
Most recently, highlights have been winning my first proper national medal at the Indoors in February and also finishing fifth two years running at English Schools.
What have been the biggest factors in your development?
My involvement in the primary school swim team for 4 years was a big part in developing my early fitness. Since March 2017 I have been training with Adrian Hemery, who has helped me develop a more structured programme to work around and to target events and set goals. I am also training with a group now, which helps to motivate me further.
What’s the toughest challenge you’ve overcome?
Touch wood, I have so far been lucky enough to avoid injuries, but an ongoing challenge I face is having to decide which events to prioritise, as I am forced into making more decisions between cross country, indoor competitions and school sports matches; I would love to be able to do them all!
Who have been your heroes/role models? And your mentors?
When I first joined TVH as an U11 I looked up to the older runners, including Izzy Dye, Eve Goodhart and Maddie Turner. I have since been inspired by the achievements of Jessica Ennis-Hill and Mo Farah, who I watched win 10,000 gold at the World Championships in London last summer. I also enjoy following the results of TVH athletes Zoey Clark and Tracy Barlow, who I often see out running when I’m on my way to school.
What part has TVH played in your development?
I first went to a few training sessions aged 10, but as I grew older school sport took over, and although competing more and more for the club in the cross country leagues, unfortunately I struggled to find time to get to the track to train.
Roy’s commitment to the club and the young athletes cross country has always encouraged me to come to events not only for myself but for the team too, especially as TVH has allowed me to make new friends through the age groups.
What are your top athletics goals – for the near-term and the long-term?
This year I would love to beat my 800 PB from last season, which, although a long shot, could put me into contention for selection for the European U18s this summer. However my main goal is to improve on fifth place at the English Schools in July.
My brother has always told me that I need to have more self-belief and I know I will need to be mentally strong in order to succeed further.
What are your interests and aims outside athletics?
I play regional lacrosse, county and club netball as well as being part of teams for both these at school. I am about to start my GCSEs, and will be studying sciences next year for A-levels, I will see where this takes me.
What is your top training tip?
Although it brings challenges, I believe that keeping up other sports alongside athletics helps to maintain a good all round level of fitness. I also believe that quality training is better than quantity.
Describe your personality in three words!
Room for improvement!