Marshall Milton Keynes rising javelin star Freddie Curtis insists being forced to watch his rivals from the sidelines is only spurring him on to get better and better on his return from injury.
The 21-year-old is one of the country’s brightest talents in the sport and is currently working his way back to full fitness following surgery on his shoulder, although he will definitely be out of action for the remainder of this season.
Curtis was ranked second overall in the UK for javelin, and top of the under-23 standings, after throwing a massive 72.73m at the Karis Telefon Games in Finland last year.
But despite his lengthy spell on the sidelines, the former Bicester AC star who now competes for Milton Keynes still has lofty ambitions and is hoping to be inspired again by this summer’s Olympics.
“I’m currently injured,” he said.
“I had shoulder surgery on my right shoulder about three months ago after injuring it last year.
“Rehab is going really well, I’m progressing like I should be and I’m looking to get back next season.
It has been hard to sit on the sideline but it’s part of sport and you just have to get on with it.
“I’ve not been able to train so much physically but mentally I’ve been able to practice my visualisation and my planning and things like that.
“Coming back from injury, I’m hoping to go on and become the British champion and hopefully make the European Under-23 championships next year.
“And then there’s the Tokyo Olympics and I want to make the final there.”
Curtis was speaking at the SSE Women’s Invitational golf day, where alongside fellow SSE Next Generation athletes he was part of a panel of rising stars that addressed the 120 female professionals in attendance – as well as taking to the course himself.
The SSE Next Generation programme was set up in 2013 and with the help of charity SportsAid, provides funding and support to young athletes who have been identified by their respective governing bodies as having the potential to reach a high level in their sport.
The programme provides support to more than 100 athletes in 36 different sports and along with the £1,000 grant, offers media and social media training, advice on nutrition and mentoring.
He added: “Being a male athlete here I’ve learnt that nothing can stop women from doing what they want to do, especially in sport. It can be so diverse and open so many doors.
“The golf was really fun. I really enjoyed it, and it was a nice course.
“It’s quite similar to javelin; it’s all about timing and rhythm.”
SSE’s Next Generation programme partners with SportsAid to provide financial support and training to the sports stars of the future. Keep up to date with the latest @SSENextGen