Part-time Fletcher Sport's sales assistant and athlete, Abi Galpin, whose been coached by Tom Druce since 2015, pictured above at the British Indoor Championships.
How long have you been involved in athletics?
I was 10 years old but serious training didn’t start until I was 15, I was 16 when I attended my first national event.
What was your initial motivation to pursue athletics?
As a kid I’d taken to it well, but once I reached my teens, I embraced the individual element of the sport – what you put in is what you get out. No room to blame teammates, which heightens the satisfaction when things do go right.
What is your go-to training outfit?
Training in the cold UK means Adidas base layers and legging or lycra shorts and a light vest if it’s warm. Lycra is key for athletes because it’s light, warm and weatherproof. As for shoes I wear my trusty Adidas Adizero Prime Finesse running spikes.
The reality of being an athlete must have its highs and lows… what are these for you?
It’s quite dependant on your personality - I would consider myself an optimist, but your mind lingers over the disappointments and it’s more challenging to appreciate the highs, purely because you are always striving to achieve more. Valuing the victories is something I’ve learnt over the years!
Tom Druce pictured above
What is your ritual before going out to compete on the track/field? How do you calm your butterflies?
I am not able to train as seriously these days, but back around 8 years ago I did listen to dance music for the high energy element (possibly a bit questionable taste!). In terms of advice, controlling your breathing is paramount as it helps you remain calm and focused.
Do you have a lucky charm? A lucky pair of trainers perhaps?
Boring but no, I’m not at all superstitious.
How does what you wear affect your performance?
Footwear is number one, for example, sprint spikes are best for sprints as they’re light with a rigid foot plate, giving maximum energy return when striking the track. Fletcher Sports supply our Adidas Guernsey kit for the Island Games and from an aesthetic perspective, wearing smarter kit can help you radiate confidence which is essential to performing well.
Tell us your most embarrassing story from on the track/field!
I always think back to 2017, one of the girls I coached, Abi Galpin, who works part-time for Fletchers – ran faster as an U17 at Hampshire Champs than I had myself for 100m at the same age group. As the Island record-holder for the men’s 100m, it is kind of embarrassing to coach a young girl who runs faster than I managed to at the same age - it doesn’t say much for my teenage prowess!
Tom Druce competing in the 4x100m relay in Gibraltr
Do you have a signature move/ victory dance?
I’m a bit too sensible for that these days!
What would your advice be to someone who has neglected sport for a long time? Any words of encouragement on how to get involved?
Sport can make you feel amazing, both physically and mentally, so getting back to it can be hard! I retired after the 2014 Commonwealth Games and made a comeback after 3 years. Recognising the positive impact on your long-term health will get back out there, and the love for sport will likely follow.
If you could race against anyone of your choice, dead or alive, who would it be?
It would have been interesting to be able to race Dale Garland around 2009-2012 when we were both at our best, he is in my opinion Guernsey’s all-time best athlete.
What would your advice be to the next generation of aspiring athletes?
If possible, stay active in your early teens. Remember, everyone grows and matures at different rates and so it’s important to not compare yourself to other people - often things level out later and one growth spurt changes everything! To achieve senior honours & rankings and not just junior ones is rewarding, so it’s worth being patient and listening to your coaches!
Fletcher's are proud to have supplied Guernsey Athletics with their Island Games competition kit for the past 3 games.
We stock a large range of men and women's running shoes along with highly rated running clothing. If you're looking to take up running and are uncertain on what gear you may need, pop into one of our stores and our team will be happy to custom fit you.
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