Case Studies

Chijindu Ujah lives and has schooled in Enfield. He started in the system at the age of 16 studying at his local college and training at his local track in Enfield. During his his initial years, he felt challenged in balancing his training with his social life and studies. Further he struggled to keep to the code of conduct, which was eventually addressed through mentoring and gentle guidance from senior athletes. After two years in the system Chijindu’s international success as a sprinter inspired him to make important lifestyle changes in order to work towards his aspiration within the sport. Five years after starting his training he has learnt how to balance his university work, athletics training and social life. He now has a very professional mind-set and has worked tirelessly which has enabled him to become one of only 5 people in the UK to run under 10 seconds in the 100m. His achievements put him top 10 in the world during 2014 and top 20 during 2015.

Ojie Edoburun lives and has schooled in Edmonton and started in the system at age 16. At this point in his life, his family expressed a need to get Ojie away from his Edmonton for fear of him getting to caught up with a dangerous set of school friends who were constantly involved in unsociable activities. As a result Ojie moved to Oakalnds College and lived on site as a resident. The college offers a specialised athletics program and works in partnership with the Speed Works coaching team. Ojies training was planned around a timetable carefully negotiated with his college, that enabled him to balance life, training and recovery in the correct ratio.

He joined as a very frail and injury prone athlete and didn't originally show much promise beyond domestic level competition. As he grew and witnessed the achievements of Chijindu Ujah, he developed an incredible hunger to learn and improve. He joined the squad being ranked 144th in the country and finished his second year ranked number 1 in Europe and 6th in the World as an under 20 athlete.  In fact his time puts him 5th on the all time list for under 20 men in Great Britain (listed just under names such as Adam Gemili and Dwain Chambers).

Sean Safo Antwi has been training with the group for the past 4 years. His history within the sport is full of injury and underachievement and out of the sport he was associated with local gangs and was put on the Haringey watch list for youth offenders. Over time Sean has used his involvement in sport to turn his life around.  In 2009 he was nominated for the Spirit of London Award (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vGgmBlCBGs), and as a result has been an important  mentor for our hardship athletes with more unique backgrounds.

In addition to changing his life around, Sean has also achieved at an international level, representing Great Britain at the 2016 European indoor athletics Championships in Prague and at the 2016 World Relay Championships in Bahamas.

Olivia Breen (Paralympian) has been training within the system for two years now. Classed T38, she is a 100m sprinter who is partially deaf with cerebral palsy. At the age of 15 she competed in the London Paralympics as the youngest member of the GB Team. After receiving a medal in the 4 x 100m she became extremely dedicated to her sport and moved from her country home to a college based in north London. Ever since she has combined her studies in sports science with her training at Lee Valley athletics centre.

Her performances have gone from strength to strength and have resulted in her being selected for the Sky Sports Academy Program last year. This helps support her with training camps and other expertise.