MATT SPICER 1984-91 AND 2014-
- Competed for Yate 1985-1991.
- Unofficially coached four Yate athletes 1992-96
- Officially started coaching for Yate in 2014.
- Matt returned to competition for Yate as a “Veteran” athlete in 2016, having previously spent two periods at Bristol & West Athletic Club.
- 2015- Coaching Secretary.
Matt joined the club being the fastest 100m runner in his school year and hoping to improve. But when an ex-Irish International Hammer Thrower, Eugene Lawlor, moved to the area looking to recruit athletes for a new squad, Matt gave hammer a try and was instantly hooked!
Progress was quick under the tutalage of Eugene and Matt finished fourth in his first English Schools. Within a year he set a World Best (for a 14 year old throwing a Senior 7.26kg implement). Matt finally won the English Schools at his sixth and final attempt. During those six years he never finished lower than sixth, also picking up two Silver medals. At the very end of his Schools career, he was selected to represent the Great Britain (U19) squad three times and got to visit Athens (Greece), Lubeck (Germany) and Horsham (UK).
Matt temporarily “retired” from the sport in 1991, only to return towards the end of 1992 to compete for Bristol & West. It was during this time (before Coaching Qualifications were compulsory) when Matt decided he wanted to start coaching, so whilst training himself, he coached, three boys and later on one girl for Yate Athletic Club. Two of the boys (Paul Foster & Mike Chaney) qualified for the 1995 English Schools and the girl (Zoe Derham), went on to throw hammer at the Commonwealth Games (after amicably parting ways with Matt and finding a new coach in Lorraine Shaw). In 1996, he threw his lifetime best of 59.86m whilst competing for Avon.
Another period of retirement followed, but the bug never left, so once again, in 2003, Matt decided he wanted to return to athletics and become a coach. This time however qualifications were necessary. It was whilst doing the Assistant Coach course Matt suffered a catastrophic knee tendon rupture. This injury led to yet another retirement from athletics, albeit longer term.
In 2012 he returned again, determined to become a qualified coach. Having passed the Assistant Coach accreditation he then passed the Coach accreditation in 2014 and then the necessary Hammer Coach add on module. He then wasted no time in creating a small squad of throwers at Yate.
In 2013 he represented GB Masters at the European Masters, Spain, finishing 7th and in 2014 he went to Turkey to Compete at the European Masters and finished 4th.
In 2017 he was reunited once again with his old Coach, Eugene Lawlor, this time the roles were reversed as Eugene became the athlete, competing in the M60 Masters category.
Coaching Qualifications & Achievements
- 2003 – Level 1 Assistant Coach
- 2012 – Coaching Assistant
- 2014 – Athletics Coach
- 2015 – Hammer Coach
- Matt has attended the England Athletics “Physical Preparation” course and several “National Coaching Development Pathway” courses.
- Eight of his athletes (Foster, Chaney, Molton, Pitts, Hale, Conibear, Merrett, Viner) have qualified to compete at the English Schools.
- One athlete (Conibear) has won a Silver Medal at the English Schools, another (Merrett) has won a Bronze.
- Two Masters athletes (Jones, Lawlor) have won Gold medals at the British Masters Championships.
- Tues & Thurs (7:00-8:30pm). Matt works Shift patterns, so Tuesday & Thursday sessions change from week-to-week. Athletes need to liaise with Matt before attending.
- Saturday (9:00-10:00 and 10:00-11:00).
- The “advanced” group (35m+ throwers) train Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The other Saturday session is reserved for “Novices” and people who can only commit to once per week.
Training Session Requirements
- Ideally, athletes should be a ‘power-athlete’ (fast, strong and explosive). They should also be mentally driven and hungry for success.
- Spaces in his squad are limited to about 8 athletes (10 Maximum), due to training time constraints.
- Athletes must be prepared to attend a minimum of one session per week, but two, or three, will provide noticeable improvements.
- Anybody wishing to join must be U15, or older, as there are no competitions for U13’s.
- Matt is hoping to recruit four more Year Eight athletes (2 male AND 2 female) to his Hammer Squad*