Olympics | SPORTS

Goulding: Family Brings Strength

Athletics Fiji’s javelin coach James Goulding believes family provides a different strength to an athlete especially to those who have just started a new family. Goulding and his athlete Leslie
28 Jul 2016 13:00
Goulding: Family Brings Strength
Leslie Copeland, INSET: James Goulding. Photo: Zimbio.

Athletics Fiji’s javelin coach James Goulding believes family provides a different strength to an athlete especially to those who have just started a new family.

Goulding and his athlete Leslie Copeland have been preparing for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games since soon after their first Olympic Games in 2012 in London. He said they had to overcome a lot of ‘off the field’ challenges as they worked their way to another Olympic Games.

“We had been training well and Leslie’s aim was to make the finals,” he said.

“I fully believe in his ability and if everything goes right I can see him making that final 12. We got very serious with our preparations after the 2012 London Olympics.We have been training over four years now and things became very, very serious in the past five months.”

Goulding said before Leslie was travelling from Nadi but for almost seven months now he has sacrificed his family time and is staying with him in Suva.

“Away from his new family and these are some sacrifices I would not want to make. For me I’m fortunate to have a wife who’s been very supportive ever since my twenty-one years of sporting career. When I was an athlete and one thing I understand from people who run sports is that they have to keep a balance with family life, work and sports,” Goulding said.

For someone who has started a new family like Leslie, Goulding says, it is an added bonus to their participation in the sporting arena.

“That’s what I believe in. Some people think that having a new family is the end of your athletics career but it is your strength.”

This will be Copeland’s second Olympic Games and head coach Goulding is behind him 100 percent.

“People mature in sports when they pass 26 years and in 2012 Leslie was very young and inexperienced but this year he just needs to throw 83 metres to make the final. The average throw in the world now is about 84m. In the last Olympics we hit 84m but we are not going to bank on our previous performance but we see it as our chance of making it to the finals,” he added.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

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