Matt returned to competition for Yate as a “Veteran” athlete in 2016, having previously spent two periods at Bristol & West Athletic Club.
2015-2019 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. 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 two Silver Medals at the English Schools, another (Merrett) has won two Bronze medals.
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).
n.b. there are two Saturday sessions due to the number of athletes
Training Session Requirements
Ideally, athletes should be a ‘power-athlete’ (fast, strong and explosive). They should also be mentally driven and hungry for success.
Matt aims to have two athletes per gender, per age group in his squad.
Athletes must be prepared to regularly attend a minimum of one session per week (all weather conditions), but two, or three, will provide more noticeable improvements.
Anybody wishing to join must be U15, or older, as there are no competitions for U13’s.