Age 35 married to Paul mother to Xanthe. Works as Marketing Manager at Darwin Forest Holiday Park and Great Britain Clay Shooting Champion
Who has been your biggest sporting influence/inspiration? My Dad, Joe Neville, MBE who represented GB in clay shooting at the Munich Olympic Games in 1972 and is now the GBR coach has had a massive impact on my shooting career. I grew up in a sporting environment taking part in lots of sport at school but I didn’t start shooting until I was 20.
What got you interested in running in the first place? I worked for British Orienteering at Darley Dale and everyone there was sporty. I was a bit overweight and so was encouraged to go running with the others at lunchtimes and before long I was training for a half marathon. Dave Hill, ex-MAC Chairman also lives in Tansley and encouraged me to go to MAC. I attended regularly until I had Xanthe. I had a break from running and shooting and then got back into it and qualified for England for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014. I was fortunate to have met Louisa Boam (A MAC member) and she became my running partner. Louisa has been my conscience, making me go out running when I really didn’t want to, but of course you enjoy it once you are out. Louisa encouraged me to run 10k and half marathon distances and got me fit for Glasgow 2014.
What is your favourite meal? Steak and chips
Stiff drink or herbal tea? Pinot Grigio
What was your ambition as a child? I wasn’t overly ambitious as a child, I just liked doing lots of things. However, once I found what I was good at (shooting) I wanted to be the best I could be. Competing at the Commonwealth Games became a key goal and I was delighted to win a medal.
Some stats – Pre-children I ran a 1.53 half marathon, but since then my best is 2.01 at the Worksop half so I have some work to do! I ran the Bolsover 10km in 53.39. Shooting wise, I am proud to have been the UK Champion 5 times.
Tips for training? Have a training partner who can motivate you to get out even on those rainy, cold days.
What sports do you do? Running for general fitness, particularly useful when I am competing in hot countries, controlling my breathing and focusing for mental strength. Spinning at the gym. In peak season shooting training will be 5 days per week, 2 hours a day and I do this on a shooting range in Tansley.
Other interests? Not much time but I love travelling, and shooting for GB has enabled me to travel the world and to lots of unusual countries. Last year I was in Kazakhstan!
What is your most treasured possession? My Commonwealth Games Bronze Medal
What has been your most rewarding running challenge? Finishing any half marathon as I find them particularly challenging. It is my mental strength not fitness that gets me to the end!
Where is the most exotic location you have competed? I’ve just come back from Qatar training for a week with the GB team. In 5 years it will probably be a great holiday location but at the moment it is a building site!
What is your guilty pleasure? As I have such a hectic lifestyle, sitting and lazing about, eating cheese and crackers and drinking wine is great.
Latest music download? Adele 25
Favourite film? Any film about overcoming the odds or achieving greatness. I still love the Shawshank Redemption, drama film about a banker sentenced to life in prison.
Books? I love reading sporting autobiographies – Michael Johnson had lots of great training and performance tips whilst I enjoyed reading about Steve Davis as he is a more reserved character without the bravado often associated with top sports people. I’ve also loved reading Guy Martin’s books.
What is your best trait? I am very determined and focused on my goals.
Advice for youngsters? Try lots of sports and remember each one needs different skills and attributes. You could be, like me, at the back in a running pack but at the front in shooting. It is important to persevere and put in the effort. If you are not as good as you hoped straight away, keep going. Champions aren’t made in a day!
Do you have any ideas which Matlock AC could incorporate to improve the club? The club do not showcase themselves enough. They should enter the local sports awards and push all the work that is carried out with the youngsters and the fantastic ladies group.
Next sporting challenge? I’m competing for GBR in the Clay Shooting World Cup in March in Cyprus and I’m aiming for a top 10 finish. Shooting is the biggest Olympic sport in terms of countries taking part with 92 countries represented in the last World Championships. I’ve also have entered the Chatsworth 10k and White Peak half Marathon, both in May.