Jonathan Edwards: Welsh athlete and sporting scholar
"Competing nationally gave me the confidence to aim for number one."
Name: Jonathan Edwards
Hometown: Plymouth, born in Wales
Sport: Athletics – Hammer and Discus
Training location: Brickfields Sports Centre, Plymouth
Key achievement: 2014 – Selected to compete at the Commonwealth Games
Top goals: To reach the finals of the Commonwealth Games and break the Welsh National Hammer Record
Secret to success: A strong family support network and determination to be number one
Many years of intense training and commitment to athletics paid off when Jonathan Edwards was selected to represent Wales at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
"My training has been aimed towards the Games and I am so happy that it has paid off. As an athlete this is the third biggest competition I can go to in the world, the World Championships and Olympics being the only two bigger competitions. This is my first major games, and with great ambition and determination to succeed, I have set my sights on some high goals which include getting a new personal record, breaking the Welsh record and ultimately making the final of the hammer."
Realising his talent and passion for throwing at just 15 years old, Jonathan has had the opportunity to train hard in preparation for the peak of his sporting career, which he is still aiming towards now. With three sisters and a father who also compete in athletics, a strong family support network has been the key to Jonathan’s continuous sporting and academic achievements.
As one of the few universities offering Jonathan’s chosen foundation course, Mathematics and Statistics, followed by a degree course in Mechanical Design and Manufacture, plus a Sporting Excellence Scholarship programme which would support his sporting endeavours, Plymouth University was a top choice for the athlete.
"Plymouth is such a fantastic location – especially when it’s sunny - with great training facilities at Brickfields, which was important when considering a move. My brother studies at Plymouth University which is how I found out most of the information about the University. Now I’m here I can’t wait to get the opportunity to compete in BUCS (British University College Sport) Championships where I will face some of the top throwers in the country."
Balancing a busy training schedule and a university course can be very difficult, but Jonathan has proven that with the right attitude and support it is possible.
"At university it is hard to have a daily routine as lectures are often at different times each day. However, having great facilities on campus means that my average day usually starts with a weights session between lectures and throwing in the evening at Brickfields which is only a 25 minute walk from campus."
Next up for Jonathan is to break the Welsh National Hammer Record and make the finals of the Commonwealth Games - and the support from a Plymouth University Sporting Excellence Scholarship will help him do just that.
Sporting Excellence Scholarships
The stars of the future are being offered the opportunity to achieve their sporting and academic goals thanks to the Sporting Excellence Scholarship at University of Plymouth.