Fri, 22 Jan 2021
Pic: Matthew Dickens/imagecomms
BEING selected for the Paralympic Games in Tokyo has boosted Tim Jeffery’s spirits after an unusual 2020.
The Newbury man earned a Paralympic quota place for Great Britain in February 2019 when he claimed gold at the World Shooting Para Sport World Cup in Al Ain, Oman.
And last week the 24-year-old was announced as one of the first six athletes confirmed in the Paralympics GB squad to compete at the postponed Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
The competition is due to begin on August 24 and it will be the second Games that Jeffery has competed at having been to Rio in 2016, where he finished 10th in the qualification for the R5 Mixed 10m Air Rifle Prone SH2.
But despite not being able to travel to competitions over the past year, Jeffery believes he has been blessed to be able to train at home.
"It’s a nice positive to lift the spirits again after an interesting year," said Jeffery, one of more than 1,100 National Lottery-funded elite athletes on UK Sport’s World Class Programme.
"We’ve had not quite as much as sun as we’re used to getting to go all over the world, but I’ve been quite fortunate as I can train at home and I’ve been studying as well.
"Not too much has changed, I’ve still been nice and busy and had plenty to keep me focused and so on.
"We have been helping out with all the online stuff and doing what type of appearances we can just to help out with everyone’s mental health and help in whatever way we can due to the situation that everyone has been in.
"This has been a very different and difficult year for people so it’s nice to have the support of The National Lottery and UK Sport through all this."
Jeffery took up the sport at the age of 11 and his place on UK Sport’s World Class Programme, funded by The National Lottery, allows him to train full time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support.
After previously studying at the University of Nottingham, the Paralympic shooter is completing an online psychology course and plans to further his education after the Tokyo Games.
And being able to balance both education and shooting is important to Jeffery with discipline being the key to success.
"I’m currently doing an online A-level in psychology and look to follow a degree in psychology after Tokyo," explained Jeffery, who will be hopeful of adding to the 864 Olympic and Paralympic medals won by Great Britain and Northern Ireland athletes since National Lottery funding began in 1997.
"But at the moment I’m just home studying and it all comes down to structure.
"Having a good structure just makes it so much easier – as soon as that’s lost it just becomes chaos.
"It all comes down to being disciplined and having that structure and saying ‘right these are the times I’ll study and these are the times I’ll train.
"I’m most looking forward to getting to travel again and getting to compete and be part of that whole world again."
No one does more to support our Olympic and Paralympic athletes than National Lottery players, who raise around £30m each week for good causes.
Discover the positive impact playing the National Lottery has on sport at www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk and get involved by using the hashtags: #TNLAthletes #TracktoTokyo