Connie Henry

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Connie Henry, former triple jumper and founder of Track Academy

Connie Henry (born 15 April 1972 in London) is a social mobility consultant and former international triple jumper who won bronze in the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur. She is the founder and director of Track Academy by Connie Henry in north-west London, a registered charity which supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds through sport, education and mentoring, thus creating social mobility.

Early life[edit]

Connie grew up in Kilburn, north-west London and attended St Mary’s Primary School in Kilburn and St James’ High School in Colindale, London. A promising athlete from a young age, she joined Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers at the age of 15, training under Dave Johnson at the Willesden Sports Centre. She began competing internationally in her late teens, and later with financial support from the National Lottery.

Connie gained a degree in sports science and history at St Mary’s University before completing a PGCE at Brunel University. Discovering she was dyslexic, she decided to concentrate on athletics rather than follow a career in teaching.

Athletics career[edit]

Connie’s early successes included taking silver at the AAA Championships in 1992 at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham. Training under Frank Attoh, she then won the AAA bronze medal in 1996 [1] with a jump of 13.55m, coming behind Ashia Hansen and Michelle Griffith-Robinson.[2] She came third at the briefly-revived UK Athletics Championships in 1997, again joining Hansen and Griffith-Robinson on the podium.[3]

Connie moved to Sydney in the autumn of 1997 to train with Keith Connor, a former British Olympic triple jump medallist and then-Australian head coach.

The 1998 season proved to be the peak of her career, starting with a triple jump victory at that year’s AAA Championships.[4] She also set an Australian all-comers record of 13.86m, leading to an invitation to compete in the country’s national championships.[5]

In the summer of 1998, she set a personal best of 13.95m in Thurrock, took fourth at the 1998 European Cup, and represented Great Britain at the 1998 European Athletics Championships.[6]

Her season culminated in a bronze medal at the 1998 Commonwealth Games, where she jumped 13.94m to finish behind Hansen and Cameroonian Françoise Mbango.[7]

After coming third at the 2000 AAA Championships,[8] Connie decided to retire from professional athletics, returning to live in the UK.

She then moved into sports journalism, providing commentary for broadcasters such as Eurosport, Sky and the BBC, reporting on events such as the IAAF World Championships in Athletics and the Summer Olympics[9]. She also worked with boxing promoter Frank Warren, a role which saw her broadcast from the heavyweight match between Vitali Klitschko and Danny Williams in Las Vegas.

Track Academy[edit]

Connie launched Track Academy by Connie Henry[10] in 2007 at the Willesden Sports Centre in London, where she herself trained as a teenager. Now a registered charity, the organisation uses sport, education and mentoring to support young people, helping to reduce the negative impact of gangs, drugs and crime.

Sporting sessions are held for two to 21-year-olds three times a week, with toddler sessions for two year old up and multi-skills classes available for children aged from four to ten. Members are offered English and Maths classes on Saturdays at Capital City Academy, next to the sports centre, while they can also benefit from one-on-one mentoring support. The work of Track Academy was featured in an ITV documentary, Run For Your Life, in April 2019.

Personal life[edit]

Connie lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and son.

References[edit]

  1. ^ AAA Championships. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 4 September 2010.[verification needed]
  2. ^ UK TOP PERFORMERS 1980–2005: WOMEN (OUTDOOR). GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 4 September 2010.[verification needed]
  3. ^ UK Championships. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 4 September 2010.[verification needed]
  4. ^ AAA Championships. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 4 September 2010.[verification needed]
  5. ^ Australian Championships (Women). GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 4 September 2010.[verification needed]
  6. ^ Connie Henry Profile[permanent dead link]. DKH Legacy Trust. Retrieved on 4 September 2010.[verification needed]
  7. ^ Malaysia wins first track gold as Kiwi collapses; five Games record set. Sports Illustrated/CNN (21 September 1998). Retrieved on 4 September 2010.[verification needed]
  8. ^ AAA Championships. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 4 September 2010.[verification needed]
  9. ^ Harnessing Talent Athlete – Connie Henry[permanent dead link]. DKH Legacy Trust. Retrieved on 4 September 2010.[verification needed]
  10. ^ Track Academy[verification needed]

External links[edit]