Top UK sprinter runs afterschool activities for Vale of Glamorgan children
For Vale of Glamorgan Council activities coordinator Sam Gordon, running sports sessions for schoolchildren isn’t the most exhausting part of his day.
That’s because the 24-year-old is one of UK Athletics’ hottest prospects who spends most mornings training on the track.
Sam is a sprinter and currently Wales’ fastest man, with a 100 metre personal best of just 10.14 seconds.
Next month he will be competing in the British Championships in Birmingham before travelling to Glasgow for March’s European Indoor Championships.
And fitted around that hectic schedule, the man hailed one of the Country’s rising stars organises afterschool activities for pupils across the Vale.
“I’m an activities coordinator for the Vale of Glamorgan Council, which means I go to schools around the Vale delivering sports sessions,” he said.
“It’s not PE, where people have to get grades, this is fun and we can have a good time. That’s what sport’s about.
“I thoroughly enjoy my job, but balancing it with training, as any other athlete will say, is really tough.
“Training-wise, I probably do 18 to 20 hours a week and am making steady progress.
“I keep the mindset that I don’t want to be outworked so you could say I have the mentality of an underdog.
“I come into every session, every race, as the underdog knowing that I’ve put in the work of a champion. That sounds so cliché, but you’ve got to think like that or else you’ll never be the best."
Such a varied daily routine recently caught the attention of the BBC.
They interviewed Sam during a session at St Cyres School, one of a number he runs throughout the County each week.
His role as activity coordinator within the Council’s healthy living team is to help increase the number of children who are physically active.
As part of the 5x60 /Active Young people programme, Sam helps provide a range of opportunities to encourage pupils who may not otherwise take part in extra-curricular school clubs.
“If I achieve all the goals I’ve set myself it could be a very long, but very rewarding year where we could get my name on the global stage so people start knowing who I am,” Sam added.
“My goal is to be the fastest Welsh sprinter in history. I do want to have that title of the first Welsh runner to run sub-10 seconds.
“Sprinting isn’t cheap and athletics isn’t cheap and I don’t have any sponsors whatsoever.
“Most of the athletes in Great Britain have a vast sum of money backing them due to the lottery funding that they have. I’m probably on 10 per cent of what they’re earning so what that means is I do still have to work.
“But that’s fine because I like the job.”
Video provided by BBC https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/av/wales/46978242