So the first thing you’re probably thinking is: “athletics, design & photography? Interesting combo!” And you’d be right – these (apart from my wife, family and friends) are my three main passions in life. Athletics is my sport of choice, I studied graphic design at university, and photography is my favourite hobby.
I have always enjoyed being creative, so graphic design was a natural career choice for me. I studied Graphic Communication at Wolverhampton University between 2002 and 2005, but instead of getting a job at a design agency, towards the end of my course I saw that Peterborough-based magazine Athletics Weekly were advertising for a staff writer. Having previously done a bit of writing for my own athletics website, I figured that I was more than qualified to apply. Fortunately they did too, and so began my three-year stint at the world’s only weekly track and field magazine.
After a year or so I was promoted to News Editor (and helped out with the design of the mag), covering events like the World Junior Championships, World Youth Championships, the European Cup, and the European Cross Country Championships, along with some of the domestic Grand Prix meetings.
I have long been a fan of athletics and I can remember watching the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games as a youngster. At age 13 in 1998 - having watched Great Britain win a bagload of medals at the European Championships and Commonwealth Games - I joined my local athletics club, Birchfield Harriers. Too big to be a distance runner, but not quite big enough to be a thrower, I figured my best chance was with the shorter distances. In truth, I was too slow to be a sprinter, but I didn’t let that stop me and I stuck with it for a good few years. Injuries (and the move from Birmingham to Peterborough) eventually got the better of me, and I went back to being a fan – and writer – of the sport.
When it looked as though Athletics Weekly would be moving to Kent in 2008, I had to make the difficult decision to look for work elsewhere. Having just bought a house with my then fiancée, I was not in a position to relocate so I had to find somewhere local. Going back to my design roots, I landed a job at Direct Approach, a nearby design agency in Peterborough.
After two years there I received a call out of the blue from Athletics Weekly. Now under new ownership, they were in need of a web designer to help drive forward their online presence. I duly accepted and have been there ever since. It’s good to be back!
I still do bits of freelance writing work and was fortunate enough to be part of the reporting team for the IAAF at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. More recently, I worked for the Local Organising Committee’s media team at the 2010 World Indoor Championships in Doha.
Photography is my latest passion. I bought my first DSLR camera in 2009 and have been experimenting with it ever since, recently upgrading to the Nikon D700. I still have a lot to learn, but I’m thoroughly enjoying getting to grips with it.