Since the age of nine Olympic hopeful Tannika Burgess, has lived and breathed athletics. Known for running the long jump and 100m, at the age of 12 Tannika ran the fastest time in her country with 12.7 seconds. In 2006, she went onto win the OCS ‘Young Sports Person of the Year’ award.
Considering TB dislocated her hip at age 10, was told that she would never be able to run again and diagnosed with compartments syndrome in 2008, she has championed through her test and trials and is truly one heck of a talented athlete!
Now she’s in the best physical condition than ever before, hoping to qualify for the European juniors as well as prepping for the Rio Olympics 2016.
When did you first discover your passion for athletics?
I first discovered my passion for athletics when I was a child in primary school. My teacher thought I had a talent and would pick me for all the athletics competitions, I loved it! I would give it my best and always win, from here I was chosen for my first big competition away from school.
Aside from the long jump and 100m, what other sport activities interest you and why?
Currently I am training for the triple jump. I find it fascinating yet so hard and challenging because there are so may different things going on at once. Aside from athletics, I find winter sports interesting too. I would never have the courage to try them but I admire what they do because it can’t be easy.
After suffering your fair share of injuries, what motivated you to carry on pursuing your athletic career?
My mum has been a tremendous support! When the doctor told me that I would never run professionally again, she told me that ‘I can do whatever I put my mind to, and that the world is my oyster.’ Then I met my coaches who told me that they thought I had a huge amount of talent. My coaches and my mum together helped me to run the fastest time in the country for 100m when I was 12.
What is the ultimate sports medal that you would like to win?
That would have to be an Olympic medal as that’s what every athlete strives for. My second would have to be a world championship medal.
Clearly you and your Mum have a close bond. How has her support benefited you in training, especially when you need to travel?
My mum is my world, we have always been close. We haven’t had it easy concerning money so when it came to training and traveling it was hard. I knew at times we didn’t have the money to go to training or travel around the country but she would never let me miss anything. She supported me 1000% all the time no matter what. She is the reason I am where I am and without her I would not be the girl I am today, and more than likely be involved in gang culture.
“My mum is my world, we have always been close. We haven’t had it easy concerning money so when it came to training and traveling it was hard. I knew at times we didn’t have the money to go to training or travel around the country but she would never let me miss anything.”
How are you currently preparing yourself for the 2016 Olympic Games?
I’m currently preparing now! Training is hard but that’s what athletes do when they want to be at the top. From here, all I can do is compete at my best, win medals and be selected for the British team. Then hopefully I’ll be on the way
What is the next sporting record you hope to break?
I think the next record I would like to break is the national record for triple jump. That will be fun to do but I can imagine it’s going to extremely challenging.
What advice can you give to a Skool Girl?
I would like to say to a Skool Girl, that no matter what your situation is, reach for the sky because you can always achieve more than you think you can. ”The world is your oyster” as my mum always says, it worked for me.
- OCS young sports person of the year 2006
- Afro Caribbean awards sport intermediate 2007
- Sandwell sports personality of the year 2007
- Sandwell partnership excellence and achievement recognition awards 2007
- Sandwell partnership gifted and talented athletes special recognition award 2007
- Sandwell Afro Caribbean awards personal achievement 2008
- Black country Sports personality of the year 2009
- Best youth led activity 2013
- Regional England Athletics young volunteer of the year 2013
- National England Athletics young volunteer of the year 2013
- Sporting Ambassador for Menzies high school 2005-2010
- making UK school games 2009
- 2013 Qualifying for BUCS (British university college sport) national final after hamstring injury and no competitions
- Poster girl for Sandwell leisure trust
- Qualifying for European junior trials for triple jump 2013
- Wolverhampton and Bilston best club jumper 2007 till present.
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