Part of our Young Athlete series, AW chats to a multi-talented youngster who has come a long way in just one year of long jumping
Just a year after trying long jump for the first time, Eleanor Broome has won English Schools and England Athletics under-15 indoor long jump titles and currently tops the UK age-group rankings with 5.86m.
In fact, the 14-year-old would be the perfect model to show other budding young athletes that you can enjoy different sports alongside athletics and still succeed at the highest level. The Rugby & Northampton AC long jump ace finds her gymnastics tumbling training complements her athletics. More remarkable is that Eleanor only trains once or twice a week as the rest of the time she is training for tumbling.
Eleanor says: “About three times a month I travel to Bedford for long jump with my lead coach, Ian Roberts. My tumbling training has similarities to my long jump training and helps me stay springy.”
Eleanor first went along to the club aged about 11 after winning the county schools 100m title. Boasting a PB of 12.6 for the sprint event, Eleanor tried long jump in a league meeting last year and recorded 4.34m and decided to join in a jumps session at the club. Roberts, an England Athletics mentor, was visiting at that session and immediately predicted she would win the English Schools this year.
Eleanor says: “As I didn’t really know what I was doing, Ian sorted out a run up for me and explained what the aim was and I jumped around 5.50m. After that, long jump became my main event.”
Success soon followed. She won the national indoor under-15 championships with 5.52m. Reflecting on her English Schools win with 5.70m, she said: “I was really pleased to win as I know there are some really good jumpers in the year above me so it will be a lot harder to get a medal next year.
“I didn’t really know what English Schools was before going, but I really enjoyed getting to know people in the Northants team from different athletics clubs.”
Eleanor hopes to improve her PB and win the Midland and England Athletics age-group titles. She would also like to try a javelin competition as she really enjoys the event. She has also qualified for the English Schools Combined Events in September, having won the regional event in June.
“I was persuaded by the school to have a go, although I was a bit reluctant as I had only done the other events in PE lessons,” she said. “I quite like doing other events at lesser competitions, but at present have no ambitions to be a multi-eventer. I am a bit nervous about the English schools, as it will be a much bigger event.”
The talented youngster has no intention of giving up her tumbling. She says: “Next year I want to try and get to the British Championships for tumbling, but I would also like to represent England in long jump. Hopefully I can carry on doing both athletics and tumbling and I am happy to just see what happens for now and enjoy it while I can.”
The Caroline Chisholm School pupil credits her PE teacher, Amanda Greenmore, for encouraging her with athletics, as well as her mum, Jenny, for driving her to training and competitions. Jenny is full of praise for the approach Roberts has adopted with his protégée.
“Eleanor is very lucky to have such a high-level coach as Ian Roberts and he is perfect for her personality, as she is quiet and new to the event,” she said. “Ian has been positive about her tumbling and doesn’t expect athletics to be all-consuming for her at this age.”
You can find further performance stats on Eleanor on Power of 10 here.
» Brooks Sports are delighted to sponsor Young Athlete and are keenly working with Athletics Weekly to showcase some of Britain’s talented youngsters. The young athlete featured each week receives a Podium long sleeve T-shirt, emblazoned with the Brooks and Athletics Weekly logos. Support junior athletics via the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund, see rpmf.org.uk.