Gregor MacLean (22) from Montrose near Aberdeen has been sponsored for the last year by Expro, where his father, Eric, works in Subsea. In a new blog, Gregor will share the ups and downs of training and competing ahead of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in July 2014.
This year is set to be my busiest and most exciting yet, as I look forward to the 2014 Commonwealth Games. I hope to take my pole vaulting abilities to new levels, and hopefully win Scotland a medal in the Games to secure a place at Rio 2016.
This important year is already off to a great start. My recent trip to France on 25 January went extremely well, setting a new Scottish Indoor Record and reaching a personal best of 5.40m. The atmosphere at the Le Perche Tour meet in Orleans was great with excellent jumping conditions and support from spectators. After this competition, I was invited to return to France to take part in the third Le Perche meet, an official circuit pole vault competition, taking place in six stages. Unfortunately, due to travelling 3,000 miles in 3 weeks I did not perform as well as I would have hoped, due to a lack of rest between competitions!
Onwards and upwards though! To that end, I’m just back from winning my latest competition at the Scottish Senior Championships at the Emirates Stadium in Glasgow, from 31 January – 2 February. This competition went tremendously well as I managed to win the competition with a height of 5.30m. As well as becoming the Scottish Indoor Champion, I also set a new native pole vault record – the highest ever pole vault by a Scot in Scotland.
No time to bask in my glory however, my next competition is the UK Championships in Sheffield this weekend (8-9 February), where I hope to improve my indoor records and place in the top three.
Without sponsorship from companies such as Expro, I would simply not achieve these results as I would be working more than 20 hours per week and combining that with 30-35 hours of training – which can be tough.
My sponsorship has enabled me to compete throughout the UK and Europe and pay for costs including travel, club sports memberships and the purchase of equipment. With poles costing up to £400-£650 each, it is a big financial burden to keep an up-to-date kit.
Until my next blog, I will be continuing to train hard for the up and coming UK Championships and the Commonwealth Games, and will hopefully have more good news!