No. 48: 60 Seconds with Harrier Simon Galligan

Next up is Clonliffe’s ace hammer thrower. An athlete always guaranteed to score big points in the league, he has also competed for the club in the Euro clubs at both junior and senior level, Simon Galligan.

Bio: My name is Simon Galligan and I am a Hammer Thrower for Clonliffe Harriers. When I am not throwing, I work as a Physiotherapist.

What age did you take up the sport of athletics and why? When I was 14, Phil Conway first put a hammer in my hands at a school sports day. I was immediately fascinated with Hammer and continue to be 11 years on.

When and why did you join Clonliffe Harriers? I joined Clonliffe in 2009 when I first picked up the hammer. Clonliffe is my local club so it was the obvious choice.

What is your favourite training workout? Definitely any form of throwing. Of course the accessory work is important put you cannot beat the thrill and rush of stepping into the circle.

And your least favourite? Sprints – Hammer Throwers aren’t born to run!

What’s your favourite race / athletics meet? I love competing at Nationals. Hammer Throwers rarely get to compete on the infield at meets and we are usually banished outside away from everyone else. Nationals is one of the few meets where we get to compete on the infield and in front of a crowd which brings a great atmosphere for competing.

What is your most cherished or proudest moment in athletics? (as athlete and/or coach) When I won my first National Senior Medal in 2015. I won bronze on the day but my training group won a 1-2-3 in the Men’s Hammer making it an extra special day.

What was your worst injury – and how did you get over it? Thankfully I have not had any major injuries that has caused me to miss significant period of time away from athletics. Over the years, I have had to deal with the odd back and knee problem but as I am a Physiotherapist I am able to recognise the signs and listen to my body. I believe prevention is the best way to treat injuries.

(For a coach or seasoned athlete) What piece of advice would you give an aspiring athlete? I believe when you first take up athletics it is important to try all events as athletics has something to offer everyone. For those that are interested in the throwing events, I feel initially you should be training in all throwing events before you settle on one. Technique is very important to the throwing events and repetition is key to improve your technique. In young athletes, technique will always be more important than weight training and you will improve faster. I also feel it is important to be involved in lots of different sports and only specialise in your late teens.

What’s your favourite meal? A. For competition – Chicken Pesto Pasta B. Outside competition – Steak and chips

Who is your sporting ‘hero’? (athletics or other) A. Irish – Cian Healy B. International – Koji Murofushi

What’s your favourite…? A. Film – The Green Mile B. Song or Album – MMLP2 by Eminem C. Book – ‘This is going to hurt’ Adam Kay

What’s your favourite holiday destination? Peru

What’s your favourite hobby / activity outside athletics? I love watching any form of live sport such as rugby.

If you were Seb Coe what changes would you implement to improve our sport? I believe we as a sport need to do more to showcase field events at the highest level. Field events are often poorly televised and emphasis is on the track events. Field events need to be broadcasted more in order to encourage kids to participate in field events and hopefully increase the numbers competing in field events at the grassroots level. I also believe all events in athletics should be treated equally. On the diamond league circuit, field events are consistently pushed aside in favour of track events. Hammer Throw is not even part of the diamond league programme – the only throwing event not included.

How would your non-athlete friends describe you? (in 3 words) Loyal, Quiet, Workaholic.

What is your next running / athletics goal? (whenever normality returns!) For 2020, the main goal is to finally break the 60 metre barrier!

How are you motivating yourself to continue training at these difficult times? It is easy for me to stay motivated because if I am not training or working I get easily bored at home. Unfortunately, I am not able to throw at the moment but I am doing as much as possible to stay fit and strong with the aim of maintaining the same level I was at before lockdown.

National silver 2019