British Champion Javelin Thrower Ben East – Hungerford’s Olympic Hopeful

July 2023

On 9 July 2023, Ben East from Hungerford won the British Senior Javelin Championships in Manchester, with a throw of 72.97m, aged just 19.  He dominated the competition, leading from the very first throw. No one was able to beat any of his 6 throws: it was an emphatic victory. 

This has been a big year for Ben.  He has moved up to the U23 age group and in June, he won the U23 English Championships in Chelmsford with a new personal best throw of 74.03m, winning by an impressive 11m. But he considers this to be a developmental year as he is presently juggling an intense training programme alongside his first year of a Mechanical Engineering degree at Loughborough University. In fact, to enable him to train to his full potential and study more effectively, his degree course has been extended from 4 years to 6. He feels this will give him a greater opportunity to be the very best he can in both his studies and the javelin. Learning to live away from home and balance university life, studying and all the new challenges he’s faced whilst maintaining his training and fitness routines, Ben’s had to be very disciplined and make sacrifices, but he has still achieved wonderful success this year… and it’s not over yet. There are a couple of competitions still to come later this month and in August and Ben feels he has more in the tank! Watch this space…

Ben is still a member of Team Kennet, coached by Luke Angell, and the club has set up a Just Giving page to support Ben on the next stage of his journey. If you feel you are able to support him, please visit: Crowdfunding for Ben East on JustGiving to find out more.  You can also follow him on Instagram @beneast_.

November 2022

Ben was pleased to end this season as: U20 UK number 1; 8th in the UK all-time U20s; UK number 5 (Seniors); 14th in the World U20 rankings – quite a phenomenal year. 

And he has been nominated for Athletics Weekly Readers’ Choice Junior Athlete of the season!

Ben is now on the Junior Talent Program (JTP), run by UK Athletics, and continues to train extremely hard whilst also beginning a Mechanical Engineering degree at Loughborough University in September 2022. Here, at the centre of UK athletics, he can train with some of the best coaches and athletes in the country. 

His days are long – studying 9am-6pm, five days a week, and then training 2-4 hours, six days a week on top of that! He is VERY committed to his sport and studies, meaning it’s impossible for him to hold down a part-time job and earn money.

Ben now has the opportunity, through the JTP, to go to Cyprus 3 -12 January 2023 to train in a warm weather environment and improve his strength and throwing technique whilst also acclimatising to the different surroundings. Many of his up-coming competitions will be abroad and this offers a vital opportunity to help him adjust both mentally and physically to these new situations.

However the cost of this trip isn’t yet known, and comes on top of existing travel, training equipment, sport clothing, physiotherapy. So Ben’s family are looking for financial support which will have an impact on Ben’s ability to train and compete in the next season and beyond. For more information please contact Ben’s Mum Jenny on 07759 922 038 or jen.east@hotmail.co.uk.

September 2022 News

Hungerford’s Ben East has just worn his first England vest, representing England in the ETC Throws Fest in Northampton and winning the competition with a throw of 69.76m!  He was really consistent and back to his best form. 

Now Ben has just started at Loughborough University where he has quickly got stuck into winter training with lots of work in the gym and building strength whilst maintaining flexibility. Who knows what’s round the corner for him.

Javelin Ben East with medals

At the beginning of this season, Ben was throwing about 61m – not a bad achievement, number 2 in the UK. But he continued to improve his distances with every competition and was selected to compete at the UK Senior Championships in Manchester in June 2022.  Here, he had the competition of his life and finished second with a massive personal best throw of 73.49m – only 50cm behind the winner!

Ben then overcame two injuries to qualify for the U20 World Championships in Cali, Colombia, in August 2022 where he represented Great Britain and Northern Ireland for the first time. He had an amazing experience and learnt a lot – but unfortunately finished outside the top 12.

Throughout these competitions, Luke Angell has been by his side, guiding and supporting Ben.  He was unable to go to Cali but managed to speak regularly, despite the 6 hour time difference.

Ben has a new website: beneastjavelin.co.uk where he regularly posts Instagram updates of his training, performance and achievements. There is also the possibility to sponsor him and watch some videos there.

Throughout the past few years, Andy and Martin at West Berkshire Injury Clinic have supported Ben in recovering from injury, enabling him to compete in some competitions he would have otherwise expected to miss.  Without their guidance and support, Ben would not have the knowledge or understanding of his injuries and know how exercise and conditioning can enable him to grow and develop as an athlete, protecting and strengthening his body as he goes.

Ben and his family are also extremely grateful to his other sponsors Charlie’s Charity, Sporting Agenda and  Hungerford Town Council.

2021 News

17 year old Olympic hopeful javelin thrower Ben East has been training in Hungerford during lockdown with community support

At the end of last year’s short season (containing only four competitive events), Ben managed to achieve a throw of 73.04m, placing him 8th in the world rankings and number 1 in the UK’s Under-17s.

Since the end of the season, training has been difficult for Ben and his teammates, coming in and out of lockdowns and facilities not being available. However, he has been lucky enough to have support from Hungerford Rugby Club and Hungerford Primary School, who have each provided a space in which he could train safely.

In addition, Ben has also continued to receive support from several local sponsors – namely Hungerford Town Council, Richard Stockwell, Jon Shatford and Sporting Agenda. But he has had exceptional support from a couple of sponsors – Charlie’s Charity and Herongate.

Herongate, before restrictions, provided extraordinary support for Ben regarding personal training with Connor who was brilliant and unlimited use of their amazing facilities. Charlie’s Charity has enabled Ben to buy nearly all the javelins he will need to compete at this new Under-20 level, where he will throw the men’s Olympic-weight javelin.

He has also had significance sponsorship from Yasa Limited and support from Sightline and Nordic Sport when purchasing the javelins and other equipment. We are so grateful for everyone believing in him and supporting his endeavours.

Ben initially found it difficult to remain motivated through the lockdowns, although he continued to cycle with his dad and occasionally did sessions in our garden following plans sent from his coach, Luke Angell, from Team Kennet. However, this was extremely limited and weather-permitting. 

 

To this end, we have recently invested some of Ben’s sponsorship money and purchased a large, weather-proof gazebo for the garden and created a home gym for him to begin training again. It includes weights and a rack with a bench, roller, rope, mats and gym ball.

javelin thrower ben east training in gazebo

Hopefully, Ben can begin to train more regularly again and return to a training regime he can enjoy. He is hoping to compete this season, although there is no indication of when this might happen.  And that is hard, because there is not an event to focus on in the near future. But everyone is in the same boat and need to do the best they can. 

Ben feels very supported by his local community, including the coverage he has had here on Penny Post, and is looking forward to returning to ‘proper’ training as soon as he can to continue to work towards his ultimate goal of representing his country on the world stage.

Ben acheives a stunning success at his first event of the season in 2020

 

The event on the 15 August took place at Lee Valley in North London under strict Covid guidelines. Ben could only be accompanied by his coach, Luke Angell, who has worked with Ben over the past 5 years at Team Kennet.  

Ben threw an amazing 73.04m on his first attempt, followed by another throw over 72m.  

This not only won the competition, but places Ben 5th in the current U18 world rankings and number 1 in the U17 UK rankings, as well as extending his own club record. 

Ben said it was good to be throwing again in these difficult times.  Hopefully, he can compete again before the season finishes in October when he will move up an age group to the U20s.

A member of Team Kennet athletics club, Ben is from Hungerford and has always shown real promise in the javelin, even setting a few records under 13. But, as an Under 15 athlete, there was a significant improvement in his ability, and he won five javelin Championships and held 7 local and national records.

In September 2018, Ben made history throwing 70.66m to not only break his own UK record for the fifth time, but also set the longest throw in the world that year for his age.  There are now only a couple of throwers in the world in his age group that have ever thrown further: Ben will always be known as the first person under 15 years old in the UK to throw the javelin over 70m.

The Team Behind Ben

The team behind Ben includes his supportive parents, coach Luke Angell, Park House School PE Department and sports therapist Andy Spaak from West Berkshire Injury Clinic. “From the minute he met Ben, Andy almost made it his mission to help him become the best javelin thrower he could be,” explains Ben’s Mum Jenny. “Andy has always gone the extra mile to ensure Ben is aware of his body’s physiology and that he understands the importance of maintaining a good routine of exercise and diet – encouraging him to take ownership of his well being. He also ‘fixes’ him when necessary and provides advice and support to prevent injury. Andy has become an integral part of Ben’s athletics – and we are very grateful to have him on board.”

The Easts are also very grateful for support from YASA Ltd  (who design and manufacture world leading electric motors and controllers used in powering electrical vehicles), Hungerford Town Council, Hungerford Chamber of Commerce, Charlie’s Charity, Sporting Agenda and local bookkeeper Jon Shatford.

The Costs

Bens’ parents have obviously supported him financially to date, but as he competes in more national and maybe international competitions, the cost of travel and accommodation will increase alongside the ongoing cost of equipment and sport kit.  This year, Ben is regularly seeing a physio to limit injuries and hopes to involve a sports nutritionist to ensure his continued growth and development.

Estimated costs for the year are as follows:

Mileage: 1800 miles (minimum)
Accommodation: £300 (approx.)
Competition entry: £35
Equipment and kit: £1800 (minimum)
Physio: £1500 (minimum) £50 per hour
Nutritionist: £80 per hour

 

How to Support Ben

If you would like to become part of Ben’s exciting journey and help support him with his sporting endeavours, please contact Ben’s Mum Jenny on 07759 922 038  jen.east@hotmail.co.uk

Your sponsorship will be advertised on Ben’s website beneastjavelin.co.uk and facebook page/BenEastJAV

 

Photos: Julia Hoaen & Stuart March

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