Alongside the The Ron Pickering Memorial Fund, we recently had the pleasure of catching up with up and coming high jumper, Gabrielle Garber. Backed by the both the Fund and the England Athletics Junior Talent Programme, Garber opens up about her thrilling 2023 season, her journey to securing a coveted spot in the European U20 Championships, and the roots of her strong passion for sport.
Having started athletics when she was twelve after a successful school sports day, Gabrielle Gerber has never looked back. The Leeds City athlete came from a sporting family with her Dad, an ex-professional boxer. She says it's her family who inspired her interest and attributes her success to her upbringing.
"My dad knows and understands the work you have to put into yourself both inside and outside of training to get to where you want to be. He has shown me how to be disciplined and supported all I do - his passion for the sporting lifestyle motivates me. My mum has guided me in the right direction and taught me how to look at life from different perspectives, which is something I will always be grateful for."
Garber broke onto the international scene this year, earning two GB vests, her first experience representing GB Juniors was at the Loughborough International. However, it wasn't all smooth sailing as she explained:
"The further we got into the season my jumping wasn't fully going to plan and I started to think maybe Euros was not for me this year. I started to accept the fact that whatever happens is meant to be and is all part of the journey."
However, by trusting the process, letting herself relax and removing any pressure, she sailed over 1.81m at the British Championships in Manchester, which not only snagged her first British Senior medal but also but her first major international qualifying standard for the European U20 Championships in Jerusalem. Although not medalling at the Europeans this time, Gabrielle jumped her second highest height of the season (1.80m) in the qualification round.
Garber is supported by the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund (RPMF) and is also on the England Athletics Junior Talent programme (JTP) which she explains have both had a huge impact on her season and career.
"Not only has the RPMF been beneficial to supporting my training and travel fees, it also gives young athletes like myself hope and motivation, showing us there are people out there willing to help athletes along their journey.
"I have particularly enjoyed the technical sessions of the JTP. The input from different people and coaches has been extremely helpful. I love how all the athletics community comes together, it’s nice to see everyone at the talent weekends and camps. JTP has had a positive impact on my performance, giving me valuable advice for the mental and technical aspects of my performance."
Looking forward to 2024, she is excited to contend the country's best at the British Championships but most importantly wants to keep jumping high and loving the sport.
Alongside the team at the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund, we are excited to see what this new high jump prospect can do next season and it is our privilege to be able to come together to support such a talented athlete.
The Ron Pickering Memorial Fund
This is also a reminder that there are two days left to apply for the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund 2024 grants. You can apply here: https://rpmf.org.uk/grant-application/
Image by Mark Pain