Big Mac dreams of continued success
A big man with a big future – that s Stevenage ace javelin thrower Neil McLellan. The 28-year-old, who stands 6ft 4ins, is ranked fifth in the country at present and dreams of representing Great Britain at the Beijing Olympics next year followed by London
A big man with a big future - that's Stevenage ace javelin thrower Neil McLellan.
The 28-year-old, who stands 6ft 4ins, is ranked fifth in the country at present and dreams of representing Great Britain at the Beijing Olympics next year followed by London 2012.
But he urgently needs funds to maintain his development which made 2006 his most successful season to date.
"It's feasible for me to get to Beijing," said McLellan. "The next two years are key for me in my development.
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"People who have got support have made great strides and thrown an extra four or five metres.
"London 2012 is a definite possibility for me as well. You can still be throwing in your mid 30s. I will only be 33 or 34 by that time.
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"For throwers, you need maturity to develop. It's about strength and knowing how to throw the javelin.
"I'm not massively strong compared to some of the others in the country."
Seven of his competitions last summer had best throws of more than 70m.
He won the Herts county, Eastern Counties, Southern Counties and UKAthletics 2006 Challenge titles and was runner-up in the AAAs national championships in July.
This led to his international debut for the Great Britain team against the might of USA, Russia and China.
McLellan has put his improved 2006 form down to a new training routine as well as being a member of the national squad.
His winter training finished in March with the entire national squad coached by legends Steve Backley and Mick Hill.
Financial help has been received from the Stevenage Community Trust which will enable him to take regular unpaid leave each month. Other backing comes from Sport Stevenage, MBDA and The Comet.
McLellan juggles his training with a full-time job in London in New Barnet as a mortgage training officer. "I don't get home until 6.15pm and track starts at 6.30pm, so it's a bit of a rush," he admitted.
And he continued: "The people I'm competing against have additional sponsorship which allows them to work part-time or not at all.
"It's difficult to get Lottery funding unless you are number one or two in the country.
"They also tend to look at the younger age groups as well."
McLellan has remained loyal to his club, Stevenage and North Herts, and was granted life membership recently.
"The facilities at Ridlins are good and I've access as and when I need to. I've received offers to compete for other clubs but I do all the competitions I need to do now. I'm up against the best in the country already."
McLellan's first major competitions of the year are a men's league meeting followed by the county championships in May.
His personal best currently stands at 72.58m and he added: "I will be extremely disappointed if I don't throw 75m this year.
"I'll be looking to reach my pb early on in the season. Everything seems to be going to plan so far."
McLellan is coached by dad John and wife Helene, with all his gym work currently taking place at LA Fitness in Stevenage.
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McLellan added: "Any help would be appreciated and there are lots of advertising opportunities for potential sponsors.