‘If you put the hard work in, you’ll get results’ – Olympian Chris Mears on mentoring inspirational runners
Hundreds of runners enjoyed ideal conditions for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park 5K and 10K on Saturday, with nine of them receiving mentoring in the build up from Olympian Chris Mears.
Campaign ambassador Chris Mears, an Olympic gold medallist in diving, can relate to those he has been mentoring since May as part of Bridgestone’s Everyday Battlers campaign.
In January 2009, doctors gave him a 5% survival rate after rupturing his spleen in training. He fought through it, returned to the sport and rose to the top. His career highlights included two Commonwealth gold medals and Olympic triumph with Jack Laugher in the synchronised 3m springboard event at Rio 2016.
Mears said: “If you do the hard work, put the time in, and you graft, you’ll get results. No one can push you to train to get an Olympic medal or Commonwealth medals – that’s on you.”
He said it was ‘a bit odd’ to return so close to the Aquatics Centre, a familiar venue for him in competition. He announced his retirement last month, and is now in ‘different position’ in his life since leaving.
He explained how ‘the room instantly connected’ when he met the Everyday Battlers for the first time. Health complications meant Mears was unable to run alongside the group, but he was actively involved in cheering them on as they came in to complete a lap or approach the finish line.
Mears feels that confidence can be transferred between fields. He has noticed how his diving career success has helped him as he becomes more involved in the music industry, after leaving professional sport.
Professor Greg Whyte, an exercise scientist with years of elite-level experience, saw the team progressively improve. “If you’d have asked these guys three months ago ‘Can you run 10K?’, most of them would have struggled to run a kilometre,” Whyte said.
He praised the hard work of those participating in the run after just four months of training. He said: “Dedication is the one thing you can’t build in people, but you can develop it.”
Whyte said his World Modern Pentathlon Championships silver medal in 1994 was ‘the end of an incredibly long process’. He said: “The feeling I had on that day will be exactly the same as the feeling these guys get today at the London 10K.”
The next professional challenge for Whyte is preparing for next year’s Sport Relief challenges. On a personal level, he completed a Norseman triathlon last month, which involved over 15 hours of intense physical activity in one of the world’s most difficult challenges.
A video is being produced to show the growth of those involved in the Everyday Battlers campaign from day one to event day. Chris Mears believes a lot of people will take something away from the finalised video, which the runners plan to reunite to watch together.
Feature image © Sam Mellish Photo.
- 10000By Tom Holmes September 24 2019, 16.45Follow @SW_Londoner It’s not very often that you’re the one inspiring Olympic athletes, but a group of Bridgestone’s Everyday Battlers did just that at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Saturday. Everyday Battlers took a group of nine people who have suffered physical or…
- 10000By Sam Blitz, Willis Bennett, Rhys Noye-Allen and Jack Francklin September 19 2019, 15.45Follow @SW_Londoner Jacob Stockdale (Ireland) Ireland winger Jacob Stockdale (pictured above) has developed into one of the world’s top backs since his international debut in 2017. Holding the record for the highest number of tries (7) in…
- 10000By Joshua Graham, Daniel Brookes, Rachel Steinberg, William PickworthSeptember 20 2019, 10.45Follow @SW_Londoner Key players Owen Farrell (fly-half) England’s captain is instrumental whether at 10 or 12. His goalkicking is metronomic and he has tweaked his defensive technique to avoid being penalised in Japan. Manu Tuilagi (centre) Tuilagi is…
- 10000Sibling rivalry is nothing new but for Wandsworth badminton player William Jones battles with his sister could be the key to his route to the top. The 18-year-old is making steady progress in the world of rackets and shuttlecocks with experiences in the World Junior Championships already coming his way.…