Daniel Awde

Sports - Athletics

Your support will help me build on Commonwealth Gold and aim for Rio 2016, funding travel expenses, equipment and warm weather training

Goal

Through your support I will use the money raised to fund travel, training, and equipment costs.

Having to use the London Underground every day to get to and from training is a real drain on personal funds, I am also required to pay for travel and accommodation to competitions both domestically and internationally.

As part of preparation for the competition season I will be attending warm weather training in Florida in March 2015 which will be entirely self funded.

In addition to these expenses I also require specialist equipment for my training needs, including spikes, clothes and trainers. As well as equipment and supplements to aid my recovery between sessions and competitions.

Background

Watching my older brother compete in the decathlon for GB was what sparked my interest in athletics, it wasn't long until I had fallen in love with the sport. I was a successful decathlete, representing GB on numerous occasions including both Beijing and London Olympics. In 2012 my decathlon career ended following a mixed season of ups and downs. The high was becoming the third UK decathlete ever to score over 8000 points and I felt there was a lot more to come. The lowest point of 2012, in fact my entire athletics career was withdrawing from London 2012 after completing only two of my ten events due to a knee injury.

This led to double knee surgery and kept me out of athletics for over a year. This time off was challenging, I had to find the will power to build myself back up from a devastating end to 2012. The physical training was the easy part, finding the fight to come back was tough. Not only this but due to my season ending on injury I was not funded by my governing body so had to fund all physio, rehab and training costs myself. As you can imagine this was difficult due to how time consuming rehab and training can be, finding a job was near impossible, at one point I was claiming job seekers allowance as I was left with no other option.

Time away from the track gave me some time to think and I made the decision to switch to 400m, something I had been advised to do numerous times but had never listened to the advice until now. It was now or never!

After finding a new training set up, my first winter season over 400m had begun. It was different to what I was used to but it was refreshing to be able to turn up to training without every inch of my body hurting (although it did for the first few weeks!) due to being able to focus on one event as opposed to ten.

My first season as a 400m runner has been exciting, culminating in commonwealth gold as part of the 4x400m relay, I feel I am still developing in my new event and am yet to reach my full potential.

Current Position

Right now I am preparing to start my second year of winter training as a 400m athlete following a long and successful debut season, which ended with gold at the Commonwealth games as part of the 4x400m relay team.  I am fit, healthy and raring to go to get stuck into the hard work.

I currently still live at home with my mum and my brother and am in the same predicament I was last year in terms of funding, having to rely on personal funds to support my athletics career.  I am looking for part time work opportunities to be able to do this, which with increasing training demands, a need for flexible hours and a lack of transport is proving difficult to achieve.

Following a solid period of winter training I am aiming to build on my success as a relay squad member and launch my individual 400m campaign, hoping to be selected for both the European indoor championships in Prague and World outdoor championships in Beijing. I will also be attending warm weather training in March 2015 in Florida, competing at various competitions over there and getting ready for the outdoor season. Successful performances at these competitions will keep me on track to my overall aim of making my third Olympic games but this time over 400m as opposed to the decathlon.

The Future

After an exciting and highlight filled year debuting in the 400m, plans for next year have already been made with my coach and I.

Championships that we are looking to compete at include the European indoor championships in Prague, 6-8th March, Sainsbury's British national championships in June and the IAAF world championships in Beijing, 22-30th August.

Along the way there will be many domestic and international races that we have planned to race at.

Planning for warm weather training which is in Florida is well underway. This is a crucial period in our training as it ensures we can complete high quality training sessions in favourable weather conditions leading into the outdoor season. This helps a huge amount in reducing the risk of injury and it's likely that without your help I won't be able to attend.

Looking towards the 2016 season, competing at the Rio Olympic Games is a very attainable and plausible goal, with the momentum starting to build from this season and continued over the 2015 season I'll be in a prime position to be a real contender come the Olympic Games.

Achievements

2006, 2007, 2010 National indoors champion in heptathlon.

2006-2012 National champion in decathlon.

2006 World junior championships, Beijing.

2007 European junior championships, Hengelo.

2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

2012 London Olympic Games.

2014 Sainsbury's British indoor championships - 400m bronze.

2014 World indoor championships, Poland - 4x400m relay.

2014 World relay championships, Bahamas - 4x400m relay.

2014 Glasgow Commonwealth games - 4x400m relay Gold.

2014 CAU-inter counties 400hurdles champion.

Closing Message

It's mad to think that if all of my twitter followers alone were to donate just £1, the funds raised would support me through to next year.

Having your support would mean a huge amount to me and allow me to achieve so much more in the coming season. Athletes don't achieve what they do by themselves alone, it's because of the support that so many give them that they can inspire and motivate through their actions.

I believe wonderful things can be achieved if you would help in supporting me.