Ask the athlete: Bekah Walton

Earlier this month, athletes across the speed, throws, and endurance event groups attended a special warm weather training camp in Cyprus as part of the England Athletics Talent Pathway Programmes.

The training camp enabled athletes from across the Junior, Youth, and Senior Talent Pathways to train alongside coaches and England Athletics staff to develop and prepare for the indoor and outdoor seasons.

We were lucky enough to catch up with current women’s British javelin champion and Loughborough Talent Hub athlete Bekah Walton (coach: David Turner; club: Blackheath & Bromley/Loughborough) to find out a little more about her journey on the talent pathway, and the recent warm weather camp.

How does it feel to have been selected on to the Youth Talent Pathway?

“It’s great to be recognised by England Athletics for my achievements in the sport. It is a fantastic scheme to be a part of, and I am so happy to have been selected.”

How has the England Athletics talent pathway supported you as an athlete?

“I have been on the talent pathway since I was 16, beginning with the Junior Talent Programme. Over the years I have worked my way up to a Commonwealth Games level performance. I have been supported by the programme with testing weekends, offering physical preparation and technical support. I also receive twice monthly physical therapy and psychological support which is so important to my performance.”

How important are warm weather training opportunities to you as an athlete and for your build up to the season?

“The warm weather training support we receive on the programme is incredibly beneficial in my preparation for the upcoming 2023 season. Our ability to throw far is often hindered by the weather during the winter. Not only is it sometimes too dangerous to throw in winter conditions, but the cold is also a high injury risk as it is difficult to keep warm. Although we are lucky enough to have opportunities to train indoors, this is not the same as throwing outside.

“The warm weather and training camp really helps in the preparation for the season and gives a good indicator of what is still to work on.

“The coaches put in so much work to help make the most of our time on camp, alongside the therapy team who work hard to make sure every athlete stays fit and injury free. The England Athletics event leads have managed the logistics behind the scenes and sourced a fantastic hotel and facilities including great dietary choices for all athletes.”

What do you get up to when you are not training on the warm weather training camp?

“For me personally, I had upcoming university exams so like many other athletes I spent most of my free time preparing for these. When not working, the athletes are all very sociable and like to relax by playing card games or recovering in the sauna or pool to get ready for the next day of training.”

What is your goal for this season?

“I am looking to retain my British title in the senior women’s javelin throw, and to also throw a new personal best with an aim to qualify for the World Championships in Budapest.”