Sandwell College worker is heading to the Commonwealth Games

By Heather Large | Sandwell | News | Published:

An athlete will be swapping her college job in the Black Country for Australia's Gold Coast when she represents Team England in shot put at the Commonwealth Games.

Rachel Wallader who will be representing Team England at the Commonwealth Games.

Rachel Wallader, aged 28, who works at Sandwell College, is part of the athletics squad heading Down Under for the sporting extravaganza, which starts on April 4.

She finished in fourth place at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow after throwing a personal best.

But is hoping to improve on that performance when the women's shot put competition gets under way on April 12.

"It's great to represent my country again in a sport I love, Its a great feeling wearing your country's colours," said Rachel.

She first took up athletics when she was 10-years-old.

"I joined Halesowen Athletics Club, where my coach at the time Julie Bellfield carried me through until she felt I had out grown her shot put coaching," said Rachel.

"However, we are still in contact and she supports me fully.

"I wouldn't be where I am now if she hadn't pushed me in the right direction all those years ago.


"At Halesowen I competed in many events, cross country, heptathlon and individual events.

"Eventually, I started winning medals and progressing more in the shot put than the other events and 18 years later I find myself going to my second Commonwealth Games.

WATCH Rachel on BritishAthleticsTV:

Rachel Wallader - Women'a Shot Put Final - SPAR British Athletics Indoor Championships


"I love the feeling of being able to push my self and set myself targets in every aspect of training needed to perform and the buzz I get from competing, the way it brings you to meet athletes and form friendships with those who have the same interests and goals as yourself.

"I also enjoy being able to travel with my competitions, whether that is in the UK or around the world. I have learnt so much from my experiences over the last 18 years and I have my sport and the people around me to thank for that.

Over the years she has competed in the European indoor and outdoor championships and at the outdoor European Championships in Amsterdam. While in 2017 she took part in the women's shot put at the World Championships in London.

Rachel said she was looking forward to representing her country again at the Commonwealth Games.

"I'm really excited to be heading to the games again, it's such a great event. Especially with it being a multi-sport event, you get to see and meet so many different athletes.

"I'm really looking forward to competing and bettering my previous games result. However, I can't wait to see what Australia has to offer!. It will be my first time travelling there," she added.

Rachel trains six times a week and also works full time at Sandwell College as the work placements officer for the supported learning department,

"We have such a good team their support and understanding of my athletics commitments is amazing, again I wouldn't be able to do what I do with out them. I am able to gain the best out of myself when competing.

"I am totally self funded and have been trying to gain local sponsorship for many years. I feel this is needed to help me make that step to make my ultimate goal of representing my country at the Olympics," she said.

Heather Large

By Heather Large
Special projects reporter - @HeatherL_star

Senior reporter and part of the Express & Star special projects team specialising in education and human interest features.


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