Continuing our series of interviews with CSE Individual Performance Programme athletes, we talk to hammer thrower and shot putter, Julia Siart.
I haven’t seen a place in Austria or in my whole sports career like this place, not even on training camps.
Individual Performance Programme athlete: Hammer & shot put
Julia has been participating in track and field since the age of six or seven and she started hammer throwing when she was 13.
I used to do ballet dancing and jazz dance but my father was a weightlifter and a hammer thrower and I have two bigger brothers so we used to do it with him. I obviously didn’t get enough attention so I swapped to hammer throwing which is why I do it very elegantly.
I think that would be when I first broke the Austrian National record!
Competition season is training Monday to Thursday, reduced training on Friday and a competition on Saturday and Sundays. I used to work and attend university in between. I need to plan my week to work out six times a week and organise university beside it.
A friend of mine used to study here and she said the facilities and the university are really great and I’ve always wanted to study abroad so The University of Edinburgh was the perfect choice.
I haven’t seen a place in Austria or in my whole sports career like this place, not even on training camps. When I first got here I searched for a flat within walking distance of the CSE because I knew I would spend a lot of time here. It is a great opportunity to train here and to workout. It has everything I need; it has hurdles, medicine balls and weightlifting all in one room which there is not possible in the whole of Austria.
They also have some nutritional support which is very good for me as I am a vegetarian which is difficult sometimes.
John and Steve - John Watson and Steve Bishop are the CSE’s full-time Strength and Conditioning coaches - are so much fun. They were making fun of me when I first came here so I really like them.
I don’t have a sporting hero as such because I think that every person who is able to fit in sports some days a week is a hero. And every Paralympian is my hero because I don’t know if I would be able to do it in their position.
In three years time I hope to work in a non-governmental health organisation as it is my life goal to help others. If the time comes for me to have a career to help others then I may step back from my sport for my career but you never know.
Interviewed in October 2011.
This weekend Julia is travelling down to the English Institute for Sport in Sheffield to compete in her first British University Indoor Athletics Championships. Julia’s personal best shot put of 13.88 metres is the second highest in the field so there is the possibility that a good throw could put her on the medal rostrum.
Everyone at the Centre for Sport and Exercise, Edinburgh University Sports Union and The University of Edinburgh wishes Julia well for this weekend!
This article was published on Feb 23, 2012