Kirsty Law: Scotland's top discus thrower on improvised training & being an NHS volunteer

By Tyrone SmithBBC Scotland Sport
British champion Kirsty Law aims to make her Olympics debut at Tokyo 2021
British champion Kirsty Law aims to make her Olympics debut at Tokyo in 2021

Chucking shoes around the garden has become the new normal for Kirsty Law, Scotland's top discus thrower.

And as well as her isolation improvisation, the 33-year-old Scot is throwing herself into the frontline fight against coronavirus.

British champion Law, who combines an athletics career with her work as a nursing assistant, has put herself forward as an NHS volunteer.

She is hoping her knowledge and experience can prove useful amid the crisis, while she keeps her Olympics 2021 dream on course in her spare time.

"I signed up for GoodSAM [NHS volunteer responders], they have had over 700,000 people wanting to do it, which is amazing," Law said.

"It is to help people in your local area that are maybe alone or can't get out. So we are there for a chat, delivering shopping or medicines, or taking people home from hospital if they are better, stuff like that. It is a brilliant way of helping.

"Mental health is a big thing, especially when people are by themselves and don't have any family. It is important for people to talk and reach out if they are feeling low."

Law - whose day job is at Rampton Hospital, a high security mental health facility in Nottinghamshire - and her police officer husband are at the forefront of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

And, with the country in lockdown, she believes the penny is finally beginning to drop among the public.

"I think people are now understanding how serious a virus this is and that it can kill not just the old and vulnerable, but anyone," she said.

"It is definitely a lot better than it was, people are listening to the government advice. I see people social distancing in the street and shops, although some still don't seem to know what it means."

Law, who hails from the Black Isle, is sticking rigidly to the stay-at-home advice. And that has meant a DIY revamp to prevent her training regime grinding to a halt.

"I have had to change my whole kitchen - it is now my gym," she explained. "My garden is now my throwing area. I had to go out and buy some plywood so I could do drills in the back garden.

"We need a big field to feel the discus, letting go of it, the weight and stuff. But you often think outside the box in these situations - I either use a shoe or a D-Ball. I can hold a D-Ball and obviously don't let go. It is challenging, but fun as well I guess.''

Law had considered retiring last year, but her British Championship victory convinced her to carry on and push on for Olympic qualification.

And with the Tokyo Games postponed until summer 2021, the 12-time Scottish champion has no plans to put her discus - or shoes - away any time soon as she eyes a debut Olympic appearance.

"It is definitely the right decision to postpone, I am just glad it is not cancelled," she said.

"I am not frustrated although I felt like I am in the best shape I have ever been in. I was definitely going to PB, but I will just have to do it again next year.

"I spoke to my coach about it and I have got to definitely carry on."

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