Outside interest: Javelin

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published on: 11 Nov 2015

Jonathan PhillipsBidwells' group planning partner Jonathan Phillips got into javelin at school and has competed since the age of 15. He has thrown at national level, culminating at the British Masters in 2012 when he became champion. 

How did you get into javelin?

I got into the javelin when one of the teachers at school noticed how far I could throw a cricket ball and suggested I had a go at athletics. I now compete in three to four competitions each year for the local club and the southern counties championships.

What does it involve?

Taking part in javelin involves specific weight training - at home or at the gym - and technique training at the local athletics stadium, when time allows. Each competition involves four to six throws from between eight to 12 competitors and lots of travelling around the UK.

Why do you do it?

Javelin gets me outside, interacting with other athletes, many of whom are also middle-aged professionals. The sport also offers social events and requires regular training, so it keeps me fit. 

What’s the toughest thing about it?

It is not always easy practising and competing and trials can be stressful mentally and physically, but it always adds that bit of commitment.

What’s the most rewarding thing about it?

Sport has always been an important part of my life and javelin offers a channel to get rid of everyday frustrations and provide some competitiveness that you don’t experience at work. 

Are there any similarities between your day job and javelin throwing?

Javelin throwing has similarities to the day job in that it is an unusual sport, while my role in planning is not typical. While I advise on all planning matters, I specialise in leisure and food and drink premises and advise people including independent leisure entrepreneurs, many of whom focus on sport and other pastimes. Incidentally, I competed against Steve Backley once – he went on to be world record holder and Olympic silver medallist and I went on to be a town planner.

Do you have any unusual interests or hobbies that you would like to tell us about? If so, please email planning@haymarket.com