YARDLEY runner Jordan McGrath joined the great and good of British athletics as his injury-hit 2009 ended on a high, at the UKA Awards Dinner in Birmingham on Saturday.
The 19-year-old rubbed shoulders with the likes of world triple jump champion Phillips Idowu and world 800m bronze medallist Jenny Meadows, at the glittering ceremony at the National Motorcycle Museum.
McGrath was invited to the dinner as part of the UKA Heroes Project, sponsored by Original Source, and received a final cheque of £500, and a batch of new kit from Meadows. The Birchfield Harriers 400m runner has spent large parts of the year nursing a hamstring injury, but after meeting Idowu, Meadows and other top athletes, he has vowed to ensure that isn’t the case in 2010.
“I’ve had a bit of a disappointing year to be honest – I tore my hamstring and it was quite a bad one. My season was over as soon as it began really,” said McGrath. “I’ve still learnt a lot, not by running fast, but about being a better all-round athlete, and not just someone who can run fast.”
McGrath – a former World Youth Championship 400m finalist – took to the track just twice before tearing his hamstring at the Loughborough International in May and failing to return.
He added: “I think it will all stand me in good stead in the future and I think the injury I did get was through no fault of my own, but now I know how to prevent it from happening again.”
UKA Heroes project sponsored by Original Source is a successful initiative which offers financial support to talented young athletes who are working towards the 2012 and 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.