George Leite: A Brilliant Season!

There’s nothing like the sense of achievement when a committment to doing the hard yards and long training hours pays off.

“Putting on the England vest was an amazing experience; it represents everything I’ve worked for and it will always be a souvenir of my life,” George says, reflecting on a brilliant season that was due reward for a determination to succeed at his chosen craft – hurling an increasingly heavy shotput as far as he could.

Such success is founded in small – or in the case of George, not so small – beginnings as he has worked his way through various age group, improving his ranking in the UK year after year.

That accumulation of sustained of hard work and committment, under the guidance of his coach Bruce Holden, saw him standing atop the podium at his first international event – the SIAB International Games, for which he was selected after winning his age group shotput event at the English Schools Championships.

“I was motivated by the goals that I had set out for the season. I wanted to be number one for my age group because I saw this as an achievable goal, but something I would have to work towards,” adds George, after also having won the England Athletics U17 Championships, the Avon County Championships and the South West Schools Championship in a season of unparalleled success.

There was a personal best of 16.95m, ranking him 1st in the UK for his age group, and an Avon League U17 record throw of 16.62m. At an indoor meeting during the year, using the full-size 7.25kg shotput, his throw of 12.67m earned George a top 100 ranking in the UK, in 96th position.

He’s not bad at the discus either!

It was hardly a surprise, then, that George should be recognised at the South West Athletics annual awards ceremony with a Best Junior Athlete of the Year for 2023 trophy.

That recognition is underscored by the words of Bruce, “George worked hard at his technique and physical conditioning, was totally focused on everything he did and thoroughly deserved his successes. It is a pleasure to coach someone with that attitude to the sport.”

Well done George, you did North Somerset Athletic Club proud!

Equally, it was a great team effort alongside Bruce, who regularly travelled to support him at championship meetings, and other members of the club’s throwing group who support and motivate each other through thick and thin.

A pathway to the top of the podium
George joined the club back in 2019, where the availablilty of training facilities at the club’s hub at Clevedon School offered a convenient base and optimal travel times to progress his athletics journey.

Hampered by COVID during 2020 George was only able to enter one event during the year, at Yate in September, where his throw of 12.19m saw him ranked 16th in the UK within the U15 age group. Since then that journey has very much been on an upward trajectory.

In 2021 he won every competition he entered and ranked 2nd in UK with a throw of 14.92m. His roster of wins included the English Schools Championships, the Avon County Championships and breaking the Avon Track & Field League U15 record with a throw of 14.53m.

In his first U17 season in 2023, his PB of 15.49m for the year ranked him 3rd in the UK. There were further wins at the Loughborough School Games, the South West Inter Counties Champsionships, the South West Schools Championships and a second place finish at the English Schools Championships.

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