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The future looks bright for Luke Angell's javelin stars

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Luke Angell is inspiring some of the UK's most exciting javelin throwers to follow in his impressive footsteps.

Angell has a team of almost 20 young throwers under his stewardship - most of those are ranked in the UK's top 50.

Angell got into athletics when he was 14 and soon became a star - he has 13 county titles to his name.

Luke Angell and his athletes
Luke Angell and his athletes

Angell spent two valuable years with his coach Graham 'Stan' Chambers but has been self taught ever since.

He said: "I was self taught. I learned everything I could and picked things up from other people."

However, he suffered a bad back injury that kept him from competing for years.

During that time, Angell took up coaching and has progressed to become a Level 2 coach.

"I've got an obsession with it. I enjoy it so much," he said.

"For me it's about giving it back to others, passing on the knowledge."

Angell admits it hasn't always been easy, both for himself and his athletes.

He said: "The hardest part when you're injured is that you wish you could do what your athletes are doing.

"But seeing them achieve something - that means everything."

One of Angell's star athletes is Ben East - he's ranked second in the UK.

He's thrown 66.68 metres this year, just one metre short of qualification for the World Junior Championships.

East was the first under-15 athlete in the world to throw more than 70 metres.

Angell said: "Where do I start? I've coached him since he was ten and seen him develop into an adult.

"It's not all been easy, we've had some difficult times.

"I'm pretty confident in saying that he could be the next big thing."

At under-13, Will McDonald is the UK's number one following a recent throw of 37.98 metres.

Angell tells the incredible tale of how East, and then McDonald, got into the sport.

He said: "When I was throwing, Ben looked up to me.

"I didn't know this, but he started because he was inspired by me, which is amazing.

"William's throwing now because he's inspired by Ben.

"Who's next? Who knows" - that's the power of sport.

Perhaps it will be Noah Lauder Clarke, who is another leading the way at under-13, or Phoebe Hoaen, who is starring at under-20.

Angell also works hard to prepare his athletes mentally.

He reflects on time spent training at Loughborough University.

"That didn't work for me, but that doesn't mean it won't work for someone else," he said.

"It's important to realise that if something goes wrong, it's not the end of the world."

Above all else, Angell wants his athletes to enjoy themselves, no matter where their careers take them.

One thing is for sure, javelin is on the rise.

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