Nene Valley Harrier’s teenage shot put sensation, Robbie Shaw, has been selected to compete in the prestigious UK Schools Championships in September.
The Bourne Academy pupil will join more than 1600 of the country’s top young sportsmen and women in Manchester, where he will hope to build on his meteoric rise in form which has taken him from nowhere to top ten in the UK in just three months.
The 16 year-old Grantham athlete threw a personal best of 15.06m at the English Schools Championships in Birmingham two weeks ago (July 11), and is aiming to throw even bigger when he competes at the Manchester Regional Arena on September 5.
He said: ‘It depends how I feel on the day, but I want to throw a huge PB. I'm just thrilled at what I am achieving, and the rate at which I am achieving it. To think just three months ago I was throwing my shot put in my garden, and I am now representing my county, it still amazes me. It's all going really well, and I'm taking every opportunity that is coming my way.’
Shaw, who trains with a group including Harriers Rebecca Hall and Martin Tinkler, also possesses useful PBs in the hammer throw (29.88m) and the discus (35.20m), with both marks placing him in the top 100 in the country.
He is currently coached by former shot put legend and 1983 and 1985 World’s Strongest Man, Geoff Capes. Capes was born and bred in Lincolnshire, and Shaw credits him with much of his huge improvements this summer.
He added: ‘If it wasn't for Geoff then I wouldn't be going to these games. He's been a massive help to me, and made me gain a lot of distance on my throw, as well as helping me a lot with my technique.
‘Also training with the people that I train with is brilliant as they also have a passion for shot put.’
Shaw will hope that he will be one of many to benefit from the UK School Games’ proven track-record of helping athletes go on to compete at a national level, with the event boasting its own opening and closing ceremonies to give the youngsters a taste of what they could go on to achieve.