Of all athletes, sprinters are one of the biggest enigmas. With some of the most intense training schedules, huge amounts of media hype, sprinters have become household names. The pressure to perform in the 10 or 20 second race is intense.
21-year-old sprinter Jodie Williams knows all about pressure. After missing out on Olympic glory in 2012 due to a string of injuries, Jodie has been working hard to build up her experience and has her sights firmly set on Rio. After taking a silver medal at last summer’s Commonwealth Games, Jodie is in prime position for the podium.
What is it about athletics that you love?
I’ve always loved it as a sport; I’ve always been into individual sports. I love the feeling of pushing my body to the absolute limit and running as fast as I possibly can and then pushing again next year and running even faster.
Why would you encourage other women to give athletics a try?
It’s such an easy thing to get involved in. You can run anywhere! There’s such a wide variety of things you can do with athletics; there’s track and there’s field and it kind of suits everyone. Any sport is good, and I would always tell women to take up something active, but I think that the different options you get with athletics is what makes it so great.
I’m guessing you’re a big fan of #ThisGirlCan – why do you think it’s such a great campaign?
It’s so inspirational. It’s something I feel very passionate about, every woman should try and take up some kind of sport, it’s definitely going to motivate more people to go and get involved. Every woman goes through insecurities and fear of judgement, even as athletes, we’re at peak physical fitness and I still have so many insecurities about myself. As a kid I was worried that other kids would say, “you’re so muscly,” and “you’re going to look like a man,” –
that was hard to hear as a child. As I’ve grown up and become more involved in sport, I’ve realised that people are actually aspiring to look like you and be like you, which is incredible. I think every woman should be proud of her body and who she is and not care about what other people say.
Your races are over in a matter of seconds – what goes through your mind?
When I run 100m I genuinely don’t think about anything. In the 200m you have a bit more time to think. I never really remember the first 60 meters, but as I come round the bend, I come back to life and I’m like, “Oh gosh!” I have little cues that I say to myself; kick when I’m coming off the bend and make sure I’m putting myself in contention.
Jodie’s next big event is the Wings For Life World Run in May. And you can take part too. The race sees 40,000 runners across the globe all taking part at the same time, running for as long as they want to raise money to fund vital spinal chord research. Wings For Life World Run is taking place at Silverstone racetrack on May 3rd. For more information and to enter the race please visit http://www.wingsforlifeworldrun.com/gb/en/