The sky Is the limit for young para thrower Mike Jenkins
Over the weekend at the Coventry Spring Meet, Pembrokeshire Harriers athlete Mike Jenkins broke the F38 European Discus Record throwing a distance of 52.02m! It was an incredible weekend for the young athlete as he also gained international classification from UK Athletics which sees him eligible to officially claim the European Record.
“Breaking the European Record felt unreal, I’m filled with excitement, pride, and motivation to push for the World Record.”
Mike is 7ft tall and has cerebral palsy and a connective tissue disorder which causes pain and weakness in his muscles. Sometimes, it’s so painful he can’t even do up his laces or hold a fork. Despite the difficulties he faces daily, he continues to push forward competing and training at the highest level.
Mike at the England Athletics Championships - Gold Medal Performance of 15.09m
The Senior and U20 Welsh Ambulant Throws Indoor Champion (Shot Put), ended the 2022 season as the highest ranked U20 F38 discus athlete in the UK, having broken the European and World just days apart that year.
“I first got introduced to shot put in year 6, my primary school Narberth CP entered me into a regional competition in Carmarthen, which I ended up winning. This competition sparked my competitive side, and I instantly became obsessed with trying to better my distance, which is why I joined Pembrokeshire Harriers.
From there, Pembrokeshire Harriers entered me in many open competitions, and I found some success. In one of the open meets I met Ryan Spencer-Jones, who offered to coach me weekly in Cardiff. Since then, I’ve been up in Cardiff, constantly pushing boundaries and personal bests.”
Now 18, Mike travels two hours each way to train at the National Indoor Athletics Centre in Cardiff alongside some of his heroes in the sport.
Mike competing at the 2022 Welsh Junior Championships
London 2012 was all about inspiring the next generation of athletes, whilst Aled Sion Davies was winning medals Mike was sat at home watching on TV hoping to train and compete alongside him one day.
“I look up to Aled Davies - he was my hero long before I started athletics, and now I get to train and compete with him all the time.”
“Mike and I have been training together for some time now; I would love to take it to the next level and compete at a major championship with him. I know what he’s capable of in the future and it would be amazing to compete together at that level before I retire.”
Mike & Aled Davies at the 2021 England Athletics Senior Championships, including Disability Championships
Mike competes across both para and able-bodied events and his determination to be the best shines through. The young thrower has big dreams for the future!
“I aspire to compete at the highest level possible, to be a Paralympian is the dream. To have world records in shotput and discus is also very high on my list. I would love to get to the highest level I can in able-bodied competition as well.”
Mike will be targeting the 2023 World Para Athletics Championships later this year in Paris. Keep up to date with Mike’s exciting journey via his social media channels.