26 Jul Local hero Adele Nicoll aims for success at Commonwealth Games and thanks Dawson Shanahan for support
Currently, you’re probably eating, sleeping and breathing the Commonwealth Games, which seem to have come around so quickly. Why are these upcoming games so important to you?
I’ve been working towards this my whole career. Representing my country at the highest of levels has always been at the top of my ambitions and life goals. CWG (The Commonwealth Games) is the only major multi-sporting event in the world where you can represent Wales as an individual nation – I’m Welsh and very proud of it I’ve had to battle so many adversities along the way, so to be two weeks away from putting on the Welsh vest in front of a home(ish) crowd is an unbelievably exciting feeling.
Beyond Birmingham this year, you have your sights set on Milan in the 2026 Winter Games, in your second sport, the bobsleigh. I understand you want to be a driver this time. What new challenges will you have to face in this position?
Learning every track in the world off by heart – you go too quick to think about it all on track. Also, learning a brand-new skill like driving is something that takes years to perfect.
What are the differences in preparing for the two sports of shotput and bobsleigh, do you undergo different training regimes etc?
They seem dissimilar but they are both power events, so the athletics preparation and training are massively interlinked. It’s just about being smart with phases of training and periodisation to ensure you’re peaking at the right times and making the most out of non-competitive months by increasing volume during them.
Athletics is a great start to get those foundation skills and move on to other sports, so you have this great base and infrastructure to launch you into something new. Do you think you’ll ever add another sport to your portfolio or perhaps, if you hadn’t branched out into bobsleigh, would you try something else?
I have considered Rugby, as I feel my attributes would be well suited to the sport. But I would also like to try something completely out of my comfort zone. So, I would potentially consider a Martial Arts in the future. I enjoyed Kick Boxing as a young child and my Mum used to be quite good when she was younger before having me.
Dawson Shanahan began sponsoring you over 7 years ago and I believe at the time, you had just achieved a personal best at the European Athletics Junior Championship and were also just about to start university. What did this sponsorship and any other sponsorship you started to receive, mean to you at that time?
This sponsorship meant so much to me and still does. At that time, I was working for minimum wage, washing plates and serving food; just to try and make enough money to help fund my sports career goals. I was working a lot of hours at the age of 16/17 to purchase my first car to help take me to training. When I partnered with Dawson Shanahan, it was one of the first times I felt like someone outside my friends and family really believed in me and the financial support they’ve given me has honestly made the journey from then to now possible. It takes an entire team to win medals, not just me alone; so, I am extremely grateful to Dawson Shanahan for the part they play in each and every one of my successes.
Dawsons are also looking to promote more females in engineering and for them to be leaders in their field of expertise. While your sport is quite unrelated to engineering, you are still a local hero and inspiration, especially to women. Who inspired and continued to inspire you to be the woman that you are today?
You wouldn’t believe the amount of engineering that is involved in bobsleigh! Some teams are lucky enough to have a full-time mechanic with them! Using tools daily is not something I thought I would be doing but it’s part of the sport in Bobsleigh. The athletes do a lot of work on the sled themselves when employing a mechanic isn’t always possible.
Kelly Holmes was one of my first inspirations and role models. I’ve read her autobiography a few times. She overcame a lot in her adolescent and adult life to achieve what she has. Mum says she always remembers me watching Kelly Holmes running on TV and telling my mum “I would be there one day”. By there I meant the Olympic Games.
You’re hosting a summer training camp for youngsters looking to get into track and field from the 30th August until 2nd September this summer. Why is it so important to you that you go back to Welshpool and pass your knowledge on to the next generation? And what advice would you give to young people about following their dreams?
I feel so privileged to have had the experiences I have had. I earned every single one of them and nothing was handed to me, but I was helped along the way. I have always had a great support network and that’s what I want to help set up for the children in the local area. I want to help develop the sport in our area and If I can run some academies and share the knowledge I have gained from World Class coaches and athletes, along with my own experiences, then I feel like I am doing my bit to give back to a community that has supported me so much over the years. I would love for a young girl or boy to see me doing what I’m doing and for them to feel like they can do the same thing. I’d love to see a youngster from Welshpool following in my footsteps, making national news, smashing records, and winning medals or awards, in whatever passion they have.
My advice would be to never put any limitations on your ambitions. Only those who dare to be great, can be. Ask questions and learn as much as you can – knowledge is a powerful tool. Also, I would encourage them to be kind, respectful, and grateful. The energy you give out to the world is usually reciprocated and I believe in the Law of Attraction; focus on creating a positive environment. Work hard when no one is watching; when there is no audience, no rewards and no one to clap when you finish a set or rep, because that’s when champions are made.