Holly Bleasdale blog

Sky Sports Scholarships - Holly Bleasdale

Last Updated: 13/09/13 10:54am

Now permanently based in Cardiff, Bleasdale feels settled and ready to push on

Holly Bleasdale: Is planning for three major championships next year

Holly Bleasdale: Is planning for three major championships next year

This past year has been a great learning experience and one of mixed of emotions for me.

After the amazing London 2012 Olympic Games, I decided a change was in order. I parted company with my original coach and decided to split my time between Cardiff and America.

Seen as I've always trained in Manchester, which is only 30 minutes from my hometown, uprooting and moving three hours away and 15 hours away, respectively, was always going to be a challenge.

After all the moving, and getting used to the new coaches and training groups, I had the most amazing indoor season. I felt confident going into every competition and I was ranked number one in Europe going into the European Indoors. I came away from that major championship with a gold medal.

Winning my first major senior title was an amazing feeling, it made me think that all the stress of moving and making tough decisions had paid off - I was over the moon.

I just couldn't wait to get another good block of training done and compete outdoors. I went out to America for another eight week block of training with Dan Pfaff, and it was here that I realised that being in the US was not for me. It was too far away from home.

Struggle

I'm such a family girl and being that far away from my family and friends was really tough. Not being able to speak to them because of the eight hour time difference, not being able to nip for coffee with friends, I really struggled.

I decided to make the decision that this would be my last time out in the States and I would 100% be based in Cardiff with my coach Scott Simpson and training group.

I absolutely love Cardiff and after only being here for a year, it feels like a second home to me. I have the best training environment with amazing facilities at National Indoor Athletics Area (Cardiff) with a great training group and coach. I have made some really good friends who I spend lots of time around, doing all sorts of stuff.

I've always said that I train and compete better when I'm happy and where I am now makes me very happy. I feel very lucky to be in the best position I can be in for my future.

Unfortunately, during the block of training between indoors and outdoors I picked up two injuries which prevented me from running, jumping or lifting weights. This meant my outdoor season was over before it had even started.

The injury I had highlighted certain areas of weakness in my body that needed developing further, so, instead of being down and upset that I couldn't compete and pole vault - which is the thing I love doing - I decided to concentrate on making the weaker areas stronger.

Holly Bleasdale: Is planning for three major championships next year

Exciting

I am now about to begin winter training ahead of 2014, injury free and ready to work hard. I have a very interesting and exciting year ahead of me. It will be my first proper season with coach Simpson, with three big competitions - the World Indoor Championships in Poland, the European Outdoor Championships in Switzerland and Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Not to mention a very important wedding to plan for in October.

I am very lucky to have Sky supporting and helping me, not just throughout next year, but all the way up to the Rio 2016 Olympics. That is ultimately the next long term goal I will be aiming for. There are major championships every year in athletics and these will help me gain valuable experiences ahead of Rio - my ultimate goal.

I love working with children and teaching them about sport and my event, as this is ultimately how I got so heavily involved in sport. I had a very inspiring teacher throughout high school and that played a very big part in getting me to where I am today.

It is this first-hand experience of seeing how powerful sport can be that makes me want to inspire and encourage children of all ages to pick up a pole and give it a go!

I look forward to writing my next blog to tell you about how my preparations for the indoor season. Hopefully it all goes as well as last year!