CANVEY teenage throwers Victor Adebiyi and Levi Causton were both celebrating bronze medals and both can put their successes down to one man.
The pair both attend Castle View School and were encouraged to take up athletics by the school’s PE teacher Dick Gibbons.
He spotted the talents the two pupils possessed and just a few years later he was in Birmingham to watch Adebiyi win a bronze medal in the junior boys shot putt and Causton a bronze in the intermediate boys hammer.
Castle View School’s deputy headteacher and the Essex Schools track and field secretary, Alan Taylor, said: “Both boys were identified by Dick Gibbons early on as having potential. He actually saw Victor in Year 7 and said he would go on to win a medal at English Schools.
“He just missed out on selection a year ago, but has come and won a bronze this time round and that is a credit to what Dick has done with him.
“Levi has recently moved to Chelmsford AC and is working with (specialist throws coach) Shirley Quinn but before that all his training was done by Dick.
“There are a lot of people, like myself and a few others, who can lay claim to helping the pair of them, but they are the product of that guy. I can’t speak highly enough of him.”
Adebiyi putted 13.53m to win his bronze medal in Birmingham while Causton threw the hammer out to 60.55m for his third place.
That made up for 12 months ago when Causton went to his first English Schools Championships but did not register a distance after throwing three no throws.
“I know I’m biased,” said Taylor. “But Levi was the most outstanding moment of the championships. For him to come back from last year when he had an absolute disaster and to throw over 60 metres was very special and great for him.”
Causton himself said: “I learnt from last year and trained really hard for this moment all year. It was my big aim of the season and to throw over 60m for just the second time was quality.”
Causton was one of three high-class Essex hammer throwers in the intermediate boys competition with Eastwood School’s Billy Praim-Singh finishing fourth with a personal best of 57.82m.
“I am delighted,” said Praim-Singh. “To go to English Schools and throw a personal best, you can’t ask for any more than that.”
But it was a bad day for the other Essex thrower, Alex Reynolds, who, like Causton a year earlier, threw three no throws.
And both Causton and Praim-Singh felt for their Essex team-mate.
Causton said: “It was a bit of a shame for Alex. The three of us have been pushing each other on all summer. The advantage has constantly swung between us. One day Billy will be on top, the next day it would be Alex and then me.”