18 Mar 2020
My name is Bethany Jones and I am just about to begin a double degree of arts and laws here at USC. This is my first year out of school so I am really excited to be studying subjects I’m genuinely interested in and that will hopefully lead me to my dream of working in the Human Rights field. I am also really grateful to be part of the USC HPSA program, which will mean that I have the opportunity to pursue what I am passionate about whilst also getting the support I need in order to keep training for the sport I love – Track and field.
I first began athletics when I was 9 years old after winning at my school sports carnival. My dad encouraged me to go along to a Friday night meet at Noosa little athletics club where I could compete and make friends. Since then, I have never looked back. When I first began, I really enjoyed the more explosive events like sprints and jumps, things that came naturally to me. However, being the ambitious person I am, I also began to challenge myself and experiment with different events, eventually leading me to switch to heptathlon at the beginning of last year. Basically, the heptathlon is a point based event that takes place over two days, made up of seven different disciplines: 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200m, long jump, javelin and 800m. Despite the throws and the 800, events I have never been particularly strong in, I have grown to really love the heptathlon for the way it has allowed me to compete against myself more than the individual events did, and for the really down to earth people it attracts. When I first began, I was coming out of a really discouraging and disappointing season that almost had me ready to quit, however the heptathlon gave me the positive and holistic perspective and approach to competition I needed to keep me going.
Because of the many different events I do, I have to make sure I plan my training carefully in advance, so I can fit everything in whilst not overworking myself. A saying I really like to help guide me when I’m doing so is to ‘train smarter, not harder.’ I also have really amazing support around me from my coaches and family which means I don’t have to do it alone. Before competing, I always like to make sure that I’m really warmed up and prepared both physically and mentally – I use deep breathing and meditation to help myself focus and ease my race anxiety.
Athletics has played a major part in my life over the last nine or so years and from it I have made many amazing friends and memories, visited new places and learnt countless lessons. I am so excited to see where it will take me in this new chapter of life!