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Posted: Tue, 12 Mar 2019 14:00

GO GOLD Athlete in the Spotlight: Harriet Cooper

Harriet Cooper discusses her ideal weekend and her favourite cheat meal... PIZZA!

What is your go to pre training snack?

I'm definitely not a massive banana fan, but this seems to be my biggest go to before training. I don't know what it is, maybe just the placebo effect making me think I will run faster - But they are just so easy to grab and go!

Explain your ideal weekend

My ideal weekend would be a good Saturday morning track session followed by a hot shower and late brunch – eggs bacon and all the trimmings! Then off bowling or to the cinema in the evening and topped of with a lazy Sunday morning and netball training with my friends in the afternoon!

What would be your dream job if not a professional athlete and why?

My dream job is to be a Head of PE at a secondary school. I love working with children from all walks of life, I want to inspire them to take up sport and be active for life. I am so passionate that you can achieve anything you put your mind to, if I could have an impact on just one child that would mean a world of good for me.

What is your long-term goal in your sport? How do you plan to achieve this?

In athletics I hope to run at international level, I'd love to compete at the common wealth games or something similar – even if it was just in a 400m relay! After coming back from injury I need to build my speed back up and get ready to face that lactic again! I'm also really focusing on my diet as I know there is room for major improvements there and also working hard in the gym (strength and conditioning) as I have found last year this had massive impact on my strength and speed and making sure I was injury free!

What is your favourite 'cheat meal' when not following your training diet?

I can't lie I am a sucker for a pizza- any flavour margarita, pepperoni, veggie, I'm there!

Have you got any phobias? Or pet peeves?

FEET! Definitely not something I want to see (or smell) keep your socks on! Also, since living with other people at university I have realised I am a bit of a clean freak, I can't stand people making a mess in the kitchen! :(

If you were to win the lottery, what would you spend the money on?

Well, I couldn't keep it all to myself- I wouldn't know what to do with it all! I'd probably give some to the LOROS charity, which is very close to my heart. Then treat my family and I to a lovely exotic holiday and use the rest to put down a deposit for my own house.

What is your favourite holiday destination and why?

I love Cuba! It's amazing, the people are so friendly, the sand is so golden and the sea is crystal clear. The old town Havanah is also so cool with all the 1950's style cards driving round, so much to do and see!

Do you have any non-sport related talents? Or any talents you would like to improve?

Since being at university, I have a new found love for cooking – I love baking and trying out new recipes, I'd definitely like to see what more I can do with that! I'm also a big fan of drama and theatre, I'd like to get back into performing on stage, I miss that a lot.

If you could play any other sport, what would it be and why?

I play a bit of netball on the side; I love the whole team ethos that can sometimes feel missing from individual sports like athletics. It's a great social sport and a lot of the girls I play with really feel like family.

Who is your role model and why?

Alyson Felix – she makes everything look so effortless and pain free. She has achieved so many titles and is a huge inspiration for female athletes. She has now started a family of her own – showing you can do both!

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to your 18/15/12 year old self?

You can achieve anything with hard work and effort. Talent is a gift, but it will only take you so far, its what you do with that talent that will take you where you want to go. Don't worry about anyone else, have faith in yourself.

What major tournaments have you taken part in/ will be taking part in in the last / next 3 months? Tell us about it! (vlog / blog)

Unfortunately, I had to miss out on BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport) indoors this year as I was not ready to compete due to injury set backs. However I am working hard in training to get back in form so I am ready for BUCS Outdoors and I can't wait to run a 400! I have some smaller competitions in the run up to it so hopefully I will be ready for this one!

GO GOLD Athlete in the Spotlight: Harriet Cooper

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Partners

  • Active Partnerships
    H&B LSA
  • Sport England
    Safeguarding
  • Harborough LSA
    Active Rutland
  • O&W LSA
    NWL LSA
  • Blaby LSA
    Equality Standard
  • Active Leicester
    Melton LSA
  • Leicestershire County Council
    Charnwood LSA