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Tyler Johnson has been an avid track athlete since a young age, competing at a national level since he was a teenager. After graduating from university in Exeter, he moved to London to pursue a career in finance on the Lloyds Graduate Scheme where his athletic career plateaued, before being offered a work placement in Jersey. Like so many, Tyler soon fell in love with the island, and his introduction to his current coach, Peter Irving, coupled with the benefits of island-life cemented his decision to stay for good. After coming back from a long-standing hip injury in 2018, we caught up with Tyler to hear more of his story.
How and when did you first get into your sport?
My only experience of the track in Plymouth was at the end of year school sports day and the City Schools Championships, which formed my view it was only used a handful of times a year. I was heading home after a rugby 7s tournament and remarked to my teacher that it seems like a waste to have a track and it never be used. He laughed at my stupidity and said there is a local club who train every week. My mum called up about training and they said for me to come down and give it a go, but the first training night that week was an open competition with a series of races. I rocked up in my baggy shorts, tshirt and trainers and managed to win one of the races in an outrageously slow time. The rest, as they say, is history.
What are some of your most recent achievements?
I managed to get back to form this year to qualify for the senior British Indoor Champs, which was supposed to double as the World Champs trials until Corona hit Asia. Given this last minute change the field probably wasn’t as strong as other years, so I was disappointed not to make the semis. That said, I was glad to be back to the speeds I was hitting before a long-lasting hip injury. Medal wise, I managed 4/4 in Gibraltar last year, but didn’t get any golds!
Why is sport so important to you and your lifestyle?
It’s all I’ve ever known to be honest, and as I move further into my working and adult life, I find it’s the best way for me to manage stress and blow off steam. I find the drive it has naturally instilled in me carries over to a lot of things I do. It also helps when you have to answer those awkward ‘name one interesting fact about yourself’ questions…
What would be your advice to anyone wanting to get into the sport?
Our sport 100% needs people and when you compare the build of a distance runner to the build a thrower, for example, there really are spaces for everyone regardless of your ability. In terms of sprinting specifically, speed underpins most sports, so it’s a great crossover sport to get involved in, especially in some of the summer off-seasons. Tuesday and Thursday evenings at FB Fields are the training nights if anyone wishes to get involved!