2011 has been a year full of medal winning performances by discus thrower Nicholas Percy (16). Following his Youth Team Scotland selection for the Commonwealth Youth Games, Nick stormed to two gold and one silver medal haul at the UK under-17 Championships. In his favoured event the discus, Percy took gold with ease, beating his nearest competitor by over eight metres. Nick picked up a second gold and a new Scottish record of 66.94m in the hammer, before taking silver in the shot-putt.
With the Isle of Man Youth Games getting underway next week Nick is looking forward to continuing his successes. “I’m just staying focused on getting near to a medal in the discus, and if I can make a PB I’d be ecstatic”, he said. “It’s really been a great year and I’m proud of what I have achieved. Qualifying for the final of the World Youth Championships was a highlight for me. I finished 7th and recorded a personal best at the same time, which was fantastic.”
His achievements at the under-17 UK Championships is the latest in a good run of success for the Isle of Wight based athlete, adding to victories at the Scottish under-18 Open Championships and the UK under-18 Open. These incredible performances have seen him named as the Commonwealth Games Scotland Athlete of the Month for August, jointly with boxer Mark McKeown. Both athletes will receive £250 from Commonwealth Games Scotland towards training and competition costs.
Congratulating the August winners, Michael Cavanagh, Chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland said: “The Commonwealth Youth Games will help to develop our young athletes and I have every confidence that we have picked the best team possible for the Isle of Man Games. Some of these athletes will make the step up to the full Games in 2014, but I have no doubt that everyone will make the most of this opportunity. I would like to congratulate both Nicholas and Mark for their achievements over the past month, and I hope to see them repeat their success during the Games.”
Nick’s family were instrumental in him getting involved in sport, with his mum in particular influential in him taking up the discus. “My mum competed in the 400m at European Junior level, and she introduced me to a number of sports; mainly rugby and athletics”, said Nick. “I showed that my talents were in the throws and things have carried on from there.”
Discus is his strongest event, but he will also compete in the hammer on the Isle of Man, and has shown his talents with the shot-putt too. “Discus takes up most of my time to be honest”, says Percy. “I’ve only trained with the hammer twice this year, but I’ve been lucky with some big throws when it counts. The main aspects are all very similar in the throws, and I think my discus training helps with the other two.”
Nick is one of nine athletes selected to represent Scotland in athletics at the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games. He is competing at the UK School Games (1-4 September), before joining Youth Team Scotland. The team will depart for the Isle of Man on Tuesday 6th September, with competition getting underway on Thursday 8th.