This year seems to be racing by! It’s already mid-February and I’m starting to think about the beginning of the season at the end of April.
However, before that I will be heading out to Monte Gordo, the warm weather camp which was used as the holding camp for Team GB prior to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Although I always get the “have fun sunbathing” jibes from friends, we do work very hard at this training camp in the Algarve, Portugal. To be able to train in the sun does give significant Vitamin D benefits – as well as that “feel-good factor” you tend to get after being on holiday.
My goal for this season is very much the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France, in July, but we are still eagerly awaiting the outcome of the committee’s review.
The IPC is currently discussing the future of my event (shot put) and – I hope – will put measures in place which will once again make the event fair across all disability classes.
I really hope that the IPC sees sense and changes the points system or the event structure, not only for myself but for the future of the sport.
With major championships so far out of reach for those classes disadvantaged by the current system, the next generation will look to other sports. That would be a real shame, as athletics has given me so much.
Anyway, I'd better be going as I need to get my kit ready for tomorrow!
I hope you are all well and I look forward to speaking to you soon.
Yours in sport,
Update - 04/01/13
First, I would like to wish you all a very happy New Year and I hope that you had a good Christmas.
Looking back, 2012 was a fantastic year to be British – with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games. All of these showed that not only can we compete with the rest of the world when hosting such events, but we can lead them.
Some of the scenes from these events will live long in the memory and I hope that the much-used term ‘legacy’ will reach out across not only all sports, but all of the associated products and services which support them. I really don't think there has been a better time to celebrate all that is good about our country.
For me, 2012 had mixed emotions: the gut-wrenching disappointment of not being selected for ParalympicsGB in London 2012 but also the unforeseen elation of witnessing the performances from team-mates and really close friends in the Olympic Stadium. These moments really did bring home the team spirit and togetherness seen within sport.
I was fortunate enough to attend the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2012 in December, which really encapsulated the public’s response to our sportsmen and women. About 17,000 people in a packed ExCel Arena, with millions more watching on TV, very much brought home the impact that these privileged few have had – and will continue to have.
It is so important that they continue to be ambassadors for their sport and give the next generation role models to aspire to.
Although slightly disappointed that Dave Weir didn’t make the top three, for our Paralympians to be recognised in the way that they were really does show a marked change in the perception of disability sport, with competitors now on a par with able-bodied sportsmen and women.
I am currently working hard in training in preparation for the start of the 2013 season, which culminates in the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France, in July.
The IPC is currently meeting to discuss the future of my event (shot put) and – I hope – to put measures in place which will once again make the event fair across all disability classes.
We hope the committee will make the best decision for the sport, to ensure the continuation of new talent, as sport really does transform lives. Take it from someone who knows!
Once again, I wish you all a very happy, healthy and successful 2013, and look forward to another great year.
Update - 06/09/12
I hope by now you are all fully gripped by Olympic and Paralympic fever....even as an athlete that has seen this 'greatest show on earth' before in Beijing, I couldn’t have imagined what an amazing success it has been. Team GB and Paralympics GB are really showing what world class talent we have across all sports, and what a difference the valuable investment in these sports is making.
I was at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday to witness Richard Whitehead's 200m gold medal, amongst a host of other great performances by the British team. Richard is a very professional athlete, as well as a really nice guy, and I was so pleased to see all of his dedication and sacrifice finally pay off on the biggest stage possible.
For me personally, it was very hard to watch from 'the wrong side of the track'...however, watching team mates and good friends such as Aled Davies and Dave Weir achieve their dreams is a wonderful feeling, and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
I am now back into full training, and have already begun planning my training programme through to the Europeans and World Championships next year, and even as far as the 2016 Paralympics in Rio. My ambition to succeed has only been fuelled by the performances seen in London 2012, but I would like to thank all of those that played a part in my bid to be part of the team...and that very much includes all at Norse for their continued support. I hope you will continue to follow me, and enjoy the last few days of what has been an amazing sporting spectacle.
Yours in sport.
Update - 16/07/12
Danny concentrating on 2013 World & European Championships
Sadly Norse sponsored shot putter Danny Nobbs didn’t make the British Paralympic team for London 2012, but already he has put this disappointment behind him, now completely focused on next year’s World and European Championships.
Despite his intense disappointment, Danny was in an upbeat mood:
“Knowing that I couldn’t have done any more, trained any harder, or taken any more chances, makes not being selected a little easier”, he said. “I can honestly say that I have no regrets and gave it my best shot…and the only thing between me and making the team and being successful in London 2012 was the rule change which the IPC implemented 2 months into the qualification period. They realise this has unfairly disadvantaged my disability class, and are already looking to redress this for the 2016 Games in Rio...which is very frustrating but totally out of my control.”
Everyone who knows Danny appreciates that he is totally dedicated to his sport and always gives 100% to his commitment to be the best; they also know that he will rise to the challenges of next year’s championships and will now have his eyes set firmly on 2016 in Rio.
“I want to thank everyone at Norse for their support,” Danny said, “it has meant the world to me to have had the chance to follow my dream, even if it didn’t quite come off this time around. But it is far from over…my dream has just been postponed for a bit!”
“We’ll be right behind Danny as he re-focuses on his new goals,” Geoff Tucker, Norse’s Sales Director, said, “and we know that his positive attitude and undeniable ability will ultimately receive the recognition that he so justly deserves.”
Update - 25/06/12
Danny won a silver medal in Berlin with a throw of 8.49 metres. He was a little disappointed with the distance but weather conditions were not great he says. He’s got one more qualifier on the 7th July and then it’s all fingers crossed for the team announcement on the 9th.
Update - 07/06/12
Firstly I would like to thank those at Norse who were involved in building the wheelchair ramps for my house...they were built and installed in super-quick time and makes getting in and out of my bungalow so much easier - thanks guys!
It has been a very busy time over the last few weeks, with the pressure building as we reach the end of the qualifying period for the 2012 London Paralympics. I returned back from Berlin in the early hours of this morning following a competition of mixed fortunes...I won silver in my event, but was slightly down of the distance that I had hoped for. The event was delayed for 2 hours due to very heavy rain, which may have affected my preparation a little, and means that we now only have one more competition in which to hit the appropriate standards before the qualifying period ends on the 8th July - the last competition being on the 7th July at Stoke Mandeville stadium... a venue in which I achieved my qualifying standards for the 2008 Beijing Paralympics and the 2011 World Championships in New Zealand, so I am hoping this run will continue! :-)
I am back to training tomorrow morning, knowing that we now only have 2.5 weeks to go...but also that I am content that I have done all I can and have worked as hard as I could have. But I haven't done it all alone, having a vast number of people in my 'team'...ranging from my coach to physio and sports therapist, the team at Caterham developing my throwing frame, Easton College for the great facilities they have provided, as well as brilliant support from my sponsors (including Norse), friends and family. Another key member of my team is Maria Cann, my nutritionalist, who keeps a keen eye on what im eating (and drinking), when and why.
Maria has been very influential in making sure that I have the right balance of carbohydrates (complex and simple), proteins, and vitamins and minerals in my diet, to ensure I have the energy to train and also that my body has all it needs to recover from the cumulative effect of all of my training sessions. One of the biggest 'wins' from working with Maria was that she picked up I was taking in too few complex (starchy) carbs, meaning that I was down on energy, and thus wouldn’t be getting as much as I could from each training session. Further, although I was drinking my required water intake, it wasn’t as constant throughout the day as it could have been, and the use of simple (sugary) carbs pre and post training. Getting these things in balance has made me feel so much better going into training sessions, as well as helping to recover from them...which then have knock-on effects of better training and better psychological outlook - a real snowball effect.
So, the next 2.5 weeks are going to be very important to me, and when we speak next I should know, one way or another, whether I will be one of the fortunate few who will be representing Team GB. It would be a dream come true.
I look forward to speaking to you all again very soon!
Best wishes, Danny
Update - 07/06/12
Danny meets with Norse Directors Geoff Tucker, Peter Hawes and Karen Knight.
Update - 29/05/12
Danny improved on his previous season's best throw of of 8.62m with 8.84m at the BWAA Grand Prix at the Stoke Mandeville stadium. “I’m really pleased as I’m still not looking to peak until the end of next month in the qualifiers,” Danny commented.
Blog 2 - 16/05/12 - Thanks from Danny
Blog 1 - 10/05/2012
Wow, where do I begin?!?
Firstly I would like to say how pleased I am to be working with Norse at such an important time in my sporting career, and I am so thankful for all the support you are giving me. The pathway to London 2012 is one which I have been on for some time now, and have dedicated my life to, so it is brilliant for me to be supported by such a great organisation.
The local connections don’t just stop there. The team supporting me is one very much based in Norfolk, and to give you a flavour of how wide their involvement goes, I have noted some of them below:
Tim Newenham – Lead Coach (based in Norwich)
Lorraine Kirk – Sports Massage Therapist (based in Norwich)
Maria Cann – Nutritionalist (based in Norwich)
Vinnies Gym – Main Strength and Conditioning base (Attleborough)
Easton College – Main technical throws area and Performance Coaching Area (Norwich)
Norwich City College – Indoor Throws area & additional Strength & Conditioning facilities (Norwich)
And that is just the start... and I am pleased that I can add Norse to my team!
Back to the here and now, I am currently working hard to get myself in the best possible position for selection for Team GB when the cut is made on the 8th July 2012. I have had 3 competitions so far this year, all solid performances, and I am currently ranked 3rd in the world in the F54 classification. At the Paralympic Games in London, 3 disability classes (F54, F55 and F56) will be combined into one event…making the competition very difficult…but who wants to win things the easy way eh?
I am just back from competing at the Paralympic Test Event, which was held in the Olympic Stadium on Tuesday. To be able to get first-hand experience of preparing and competing at such a big venue was invaluable, especially for those athletes for whom this will be their first major championships.
My next stop is Stoke Mandeville stadium on the 19th May for the BWAA Grand Prix. Stoke Mandeville is the home of the Paralympic movement, and holds good memories for me as I achieved my qualifying standards for both the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing and the 2011 World Championships in New Zealand at qualifying events held there. Let’s hope that run continues!!!
I had better now sign off for time being…I have a strength and conditioning session this afternoon, so a lunch of pasta and chicken awaits before I have to throw some weights about!
I hope to be speaking to you all again very soon, and thank you once again for all of your support.