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Driving to success - what owning a car means for my career

Naomi Ogbeta profile

Naomi Ogbeta

December 27, 2017

Young driver stories 4 min read

Triple Jumper Naomi has recently bought her first car. Here, she tells us what this means for her sporting career.

I have been triple jumping since 2014, and I’ve won the age group national championships in my event every year for the past four years; this year I became senior British champion. This is an amazing thing to happen, but it definitely didn’t come easy. I have had to train 4-5 times a week for the past 3 years and getting to training has been a nightmare! The route from where I live to my training track is not as straightforward as hopping on the bus. I had to get multiple buses and trams which could be unreliable and delayed, sometimes meaning I would arrive at my training sessions over an hour late (not good!).

With the option of public transport an unreliable one, it left me relying on friends, family or even my coach to drive me to my training sessions. I needed my own car and be able to drive desperately. Competitions were harder to get to as they are often dotted all around the country, so if no one was available to give me a lift, I had no idea how I would get there – and even if I did make it, I would have had no energy left to actually compete! I am extremely grateful for the people around me for helping me to achieve my goals.

A couple of months ago, I took the plunge and got my own car. I was so excited, because I knew being able to drive myself to my competitions and training would make my life a whole lot easier. Having my own car, and the freedom of the road, has allowed me to achieve more within my sports, as well as giving me the independence I so desperately wanted. My goals and my future are now in my hands!

I am in control

Having my own car has allowed me to travel to my training sessions, without relying on anyone. Having training up to 5 times a week takes up a lot of time, and I am now responsible for how much training I put in – pushing my career even further.

I feel independent

I no longer have to rely on family and friends, or the dreaded bus and tram route if no-one is available. I can go wherever I want, whenever I need to.

It is time-saving

Relying on other people and sometimes public transport would mean that my journey would often begin hours ahead of time. Planning the route, seeing when friends and family were free to drive me, often getting there too early or sometimes too late! Now, I can set off 20 minutes before my training starts, without a problem! I can finally save my energy for the training, and not use it on the stress of the journey to get there.

It gives me time alone to reflect and think

I love music so much, and having the Bluetooth system in the car means that I can listen to a variety of new music – who wouldn’t want that?! It’s not just listening to the UK top 40 either, I can also revise on my way to training! I often listen to university podcasts on my journeys, to cram in some extra revision! Having this alone time also helps me to focus on what I want to achieve for that training session, keeping me focused.

It has allowed me to give back!

Having my own car has helped me help others. I now often give my friends lifts to and from training; I know how stressful it is when you can’t get yourself there, so it feels great to help where I can. I also sometimes travel all over the north-west, visiting schools and inspiring the younger generation to get involved with sport!

My confidence out on the road as well as on the track has been helped immensely since getting my own car. I can get to my training session without the stress of wondering how I’m going to get back home, and I focus more on my sessions, allowing me to become more successful in my field.

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Naomi Ogbeta profile

By Naomi Ogbeta

'My name is Naomi and I am a triple jumper. I have recently passed my driving test and because I train 5 times a week, being able to drive is going to help me achieve my goals of competing at the Commonwealth Games and Olympics.'  See more posts by Naomi

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