Amber Valley and Erewash AC’s javelin stars facing a bright future
Amber Valley & Erewash Athletics Club’s javelin coach Scott Knighton believes the young throwers under his tutelage have what it takes to grace the international stage.
Recognised as having the strongest javelin group in the Midlands, AVEAC are hoping to see more of their athletes follow in the footsteps of the likes of Shirland heptathlete Niamh Emerson, who won a bronze medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.
And Knighton believes that person could come from the impressive pool of javelin throwers at his disposal.
He said: “My assistant coach Tim Bennett and I are really passionate about what we do and like to keep our coaching interesting and engaging, and that's providing some great results.
"We have quite a few Nottingham-based university students who often end up joining us and they’ve been going from strength to strength, plus we have some really keen juniors coming through as well.”
Among the students to work with Knighton is Joss Foot, who hails from Essex but is studying in Nottingham.
He has a Canadian mother and is now targeting a place in the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which will take place in Birmingham, competing for his mother’s home country.
Knighton said: “Joss is ranked in the top 20 and has all the attributes to be a real success and he’s aiming to achieve the qualifying throws good enough to gain selection. He should know whether he’s been successful by around September time.
"We’ve also got the likes of Nicky Bell who is on the English junior talent programme and Jessie Brown who looks set to go on to that next year once her studies are complete.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit plans hard across the board at the club, but Knighton hopes to see progress pick back up again soon.
He said: “Events like the British University Championships and English Championships likely won’t happen now this year which is a real shame.
"But we have high hopes for what our athletes could achieve in 2022 when hopefully they’ll all be back up to speed and fulfilling potential, whether they’re juniors or competing on a much higher stage.”