2018 was always going to be about Emilys participation in the CPISRA World Games in Sant Cugat near Barcelona in August. All her training and competitions leading up to that competition were geared up towards that.
January, Febuary and March saw Emily competing indoors at Gateshead and Sheffield as well as preparing for the start of the upcoming outdoor season. Good solid start to the year with strong performances in 60m, long jump and shot put getting Emily prepared for the first event outdoors at the Open Medal Meeting at Monkton in April. Emilys first discus competition of the year produced her first PB of the year , although just a small one.
We were back at Monkton the following Wednesday night for the first Grand prix meeting of the season. Emily almost got a PB in the 150m and another solid shot put saw her move on a week later to the Throws Festival at Whitley Bay.
In very windy conditions saw Emily record a solid shot put and a massive PB in her discus putting almost 3m onto her PB. A great start to the outdoor season going into May.
Emily was asked to compete for the Gateshead Harriers Senior Ladies team at the Senior League meeting at Gateshead. A fantastic 3rd place with a great time in the 100m was followed by a fantastic run and great time again in the 200m. Emily also competed in the ladies 4x100m relay aswell. This was followed by her first CP Sport meeting of the season in York. Emily competed in three events , a solid 100m followed by a great shot put. In the afternoon Emilys last event produced another PB in the discus putting another half a metre on to her PB. Onwards to the second Grand Prix meeting again at Monkton. A fantastic shot put saw Emily getting into her stride with a very good set of throws. Emilys last event of the night saw Emily produce a massive discus PB over 2m onto her previous PB.
Going into June , again Emily was asked to compete for Gateshead Harriers Senior Ladies team again in the 100m and 200m. Both were very good runs not far away from her best. Emily again also competed in the 4x100m Ladies relay team. Next event was the Northern Athletics Championships in Manchester. Emily competed in all 5 of her events over the weekend. A very tiring weekend saw Emily claim a 1st in discus and shot put, a 2nd in 100m, a 3rd in 200m and a very creditable 8th in long jump. Then headed off for a quick week away to Cyprus for our holiday.
Onwards towards the buisiest months of the year. Warwick University in Coventry and Emilys very last DSE competition . Age restrictions apply to this event as its a schools competition. It was Emilys 10th and last time and as always Emily didn’t disappoint Team North East winning 3 Gold Medals for her team in 100m, discus and shot put. We ve lost count of the medals Emily has won for the team over the years, must be over 40? Its nice to be appreciated isn’t it? some nice words from the team management afterwards.
Completely out of the blue we got an email very kindly from British Athletics on Thursday 12 July inviting Emily to compete in the T37/T38 Womens 200m at The Anniversary Games in the Olympic Stadium in London On Sunday 22 July. We were stunned. WOW. A mass panic set in, contacted Emilys coach Janice Kaufman who was actually abroad with another of her athletes asking her do you think we should do it? Daft question. Of course she was doing it. We could only tell a few people at the time until it was officially announced. Had to book trian and accommodation. Janice offered to come down with us to look after Emily on the day of the race as her coach. ( we were not allowed behind the scenes).
We travelled down to London on Saturday 21 July by train in the morning, arriving just before lunch time. has some food and a bit site seeing. Had to drop Emily off at the team hotel by 5pm. A hotel in the middle of London with almost to us complete strangers. We didn’t have to worry, everyone was fantastic to Emily and as always Emily just took it all in her stride. We headed of to out hotel near the stadium. We had some food and calming down water( beer ) and awaited Janice to arrive who travelled down late afternoon after being at a competition in the north east. Janice arrived at around 10pm and also joined us with the calming down water.
Race day. Janice headed over to the team hotel for Emily to join her to go to stadium whilst we just headed around The Olympic park area. We picked our tickets up and headed in to an almost empty stadium. We were obviously first in. The first thing I said was the stadium dosent feel or look very big while we were actually in there. I was wrong. The people started coming in. Time was flying by. The race was being shown live on BBC 2 at 150pm. At 130pm we saw the girls being walked out below us towards the 200m start line , and then it hit me. Our Emily is about to run in the Olympic Stadium in London in front of what we were told later was 27000 people up against seasoned Paralympic athletes .I started getting texts and messages from family and friends, people on facebook ect saying they are sat watching and waiting to watch the race.My brother in law sent me a picture of his family in front of the tele watching it . Seriously my phone wax hot with comments and messages and this was before the race. I was crying now.
Race time. Emily was on the big screen in the stadium waving at the crowd then silence. There off, great start from Emily blasting out of the blocks and down the home straight finishing a brilliant 4th place in a seasons best. Thats our girl finishing 4th in the Olympic stadium. Then it was over.
We met Emily and Janice a while later and Emily was beaming , massive smile on her face. Janice said she did great. Job Done. Back across London then Home.
The following Wednesday we were back at Monkton for the next Grand prix meeting. A great discus and a great shot put. That weekend we were back in Manchester competing in the Disability championships. Emily finished 3rd in the 100m final, 3rd in the discus and 1st in the shot put.
August. CPISRA World Games. We said all year this is what 2018 was all about. Everything geared towards this. All the training, travel, competition in all weathers this is what its all about. London had given Emily a huge boost.
We travelled out to Sant Cugat near Barcelona on Sunday 5 August. We were staying with our friends Paul and Fay Dixon in a rented house near to the stadium. Emily was with us as was Leaha, Paul and Fays daughter who was also competing. Emilys Grandad came with us aswell which was his first ever flight at the age of 81. He loved it. A Quick trip into Barcelona on a 2hr bus sightseeing trip on the Monday then we headed back to drop the girls off at CP team England hotel at 6pm.
Competition days. 9/10/11 August. Rain,thunder and lightening, wind and very hot at times, we had it all over the days. Emily hadn’t been very well during her competition days but came away a 5 time CPISRA T38/F38 World Games world champion in 100m, 200m, long jump, shot put and discus. No PBs, Just grit and determination to do what we all had worked for all year.
Only two more competitions left for Emily. The England Athletics Disability Championships at Bedford saw Emily coming home with a silver in the shot put and a bronze medal in both 100m and long jump.
Last outdoor competition of the year was also Emilys last UK School games competition. Emilys 5th UK School Games again due to age restrictions saw Emily win a bronze medal in the long jump and an eventual gold medal in the shot put. Emilys 3rd gold in shot put in 3 years. Outdoor season finished. 3 weeks complete rest.
Back in training late September ready for the Winter indoor season. Looking refreshed, strong and determined Emily started indoor season in November at Sheffield with a 2 year best in the 60m and a great shot put. Back to Gateshead another solid 60m and shot put was followed in December again in Gateshead for Emilys last competition of the year. Again solid 60m and shot put.
In late November we had a email from British Athletics inviting Emily onto The British Athletics Paralympic Development Acadamy. Emily is over the moon and cant wait to get started.
Finally, we like to thank all of Emilys coaches. Janice Kaufman, Richard Kaufman for sprints, Alex Giles. Nicola Terry and Adam Barkley for throws and Margaret and Paul Smith For long jump. Huge thanks go out to Emilys club Gateshead Harriers For all the kind words and support and in particular Iona Sweeney. Top lady.
Emily Stewart, you have made your Mam and Dad so proud in particular this year. Everything that’s been put in you way you’ve just got on with it. 4 days training every week which includes double sessions on a Monday and Tuesdays at College. Onwards and upwards. Never give in.