“You need to believe in what you know you are capable of.” | Harry Hughes
Why the javelin?
It is such a great event to watch, and it is so historic too. But most of all, because it was the event I was best at! I tried my hand at a few different sports, but javelin was the one I fell in love with from a very young age. There is no real backstory to me choosing it either, I simply watched some javelin throwers at my local track and said that I wanted to give it a go at 9 years old!
What 3 attributes have helped you become the UK’s number 1 javelin thrower?
Motivation – I am an extremely motivated individual, and I rarely need to be pushed or guided, so that definitely helps when it comes to sacrificing and training.
Training Smart – More of an attribute to my training programme, but being smart and actually only pushing your body when you need to, and equally being smart on changing the training around to suit how you feel on certain occasions. That extra rep sometimes doesn’t always help.
Confidence – I have seen it so many times when people get to an event and they crumble because they don’t believe in themselves! I do lack confidence in specific situations, which I am working on, but when you are out on the field competing, you really do have to believe in what you are capable of achieving.
Who is your javelin hero and why?
My coach – Mark Roberson. An incredibly humble guy, who is not only my coach, but also one of my closest friends. He was a brilliant thrower in his day and continues to be an amazing athlete to this day, and he can still beat me on a few lifts in the gym too!
Does javelin & field sports generally get the credit it deserves in athletics?
I think some field sports are getting better credit now – look at the pole vault. It is doing really well, and people love watching it. It’s great to see some of the field events getting better credit such as the Shot Putt, but when you compare it to the credit that some of the track events get, it is still a long way off. I think the coverage of field events in the UK at the moment is lacking significantly, and I don’t see where the influence for younger athletes to take up the sport or continue onwards is coming from because it certainly isn’t coming from TV coverage.
What’s your mission for 2020?
My mission is to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. It’s always been a dream, and I would like to finally make that a reality. It’s quite nerving that the year is finally here, but you do have to stick your neck out and say, you know what, I’m going to qualify. Again, you need to believe in what you know you are capable of! I am also aiming to make the final at the European Championships too!
What’s your wider mission for your athletics career?
My wider mission is to compete at 3 Olympic games, multiple major championships, and get a medal at either a major championships or Olympics.
Who’s your sporting hero and why?
Steve Backley. He really achieved an amazing amount and did it in such a modest way too. He became a household name from throwing a javelin, and the distances he could consistently throw were so impressive, let alone that you could almost always bet on Steve to win a medal at a major championship or Olympics, and that’s what makes a truly great athlete.
Professional sport is intense. What do you do to relax/get away from it all?
There’s a few things I do to relax. Anything regarding the countryside such as fishing, metal detecting (would you believe it), or even just walking, is great for relaxing, but equally spending time with friends and family is also a great way to relax, a night with good friends, or a weekend away with my girlfriend.
Tell us about setting up your own business, Dangler?
Dangler is a business that my 2 brothers and I set up back in 2018. We aim to bring a marketplace app for buying and selling fishing tackle to the UK, and then take it Global. We managed to raise £500K seed funding in 2019, and we will be launching this spring. It’s an incredibly exciting venture, and I’m very fortunate to work for myself alongside my brothers. Check out the website www.dangler.co.uk to understand more about it. It’s been an amazing learning experience, and I can’t wait to see where we can take it.
Who would your ideal commercial partner be and why?
That’s a difficult one. I absolutely love so many different things. I’m a big fan of good clothing, so one of my favourite clothing brands would be ideal, but I love cars, and to have a commercial partnership with a car manufacturer has to be one of the goals…Land Rover… Hint Hint. In all honesty, there isn’t a single company I would work for over another, I think it comes down to their interest in me as an individual, an ideal partner is one who comes along the journey with me and buys into my story.