Furtherwick Park Legacy

Shannon Connolly

Just wanted to say thank you to the Furtherwick Park Legacy fund for the donation thats going to help with equipment for pole vault. Jumped close to a PB recently in my first warm-up outdoor competition with a strong wind so looking forward to update on what the rest of the season will bring, Shannon.

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  1. Kim Connolly Says:

    Just a quick update on the weekend, Shannon travelled to Oxford but unfortunately didn’t get to jump as the field refereee decided it was too dangerous to uncover the pole vault. However she competed in the London Interclub Challenge on bank holiday monday at Lee Valley where she jumped two PB’s the first was 3.25m and the second 3.30m. She is now ranked 14th and with another pole to move up to there should be more to come.

  2. Kim Connolly Says:

    Another update on the past few weekends, on the 27th April Shannon travelled to Perivale to represent Thames Valley Harriers in the first Youth Development League of the season, although the weather wasn’t perfect she manage to jump 3.10m and won the A string. Then on the 5th may she travelled to Tooting Bec for the Herne Hill Harriers open meeting where she jumped 3.20m, and whilst there she attempted to move up to a bigger pole and went for 3.40m. With a close last attempt and enough height she unfortunately didn’t quite manage to make it deep enough to the bed to clear the bar.

  3. Kim Connolly Says:

    Travelled to Swansea on the 10th May for the the first UK Woman’s Premier League match, with winds of 28mph and talk about cancelling the pole vault Shannon managed to jump well. She took 2nd place in the A string with a jump of 2.90m and although this isn’t her best she was pleased as the wind made it very difficult for all of the pole vaulters. She had first time clearances of all heights and was leading until the final height where unfortunatly she failed to clear the bar and another competitor did.

    On the 17th May Shannon travelled to Ware for the second Southern Athletics League match where she made the most of the good weather and jumped 3.35m which is a new PB for her. She won the competition and this was also a new club record. She did attempt to use a bigger pole at 3.40m but didn’t quite manage it. Overall a good couple of weeks with some good training sessions in the gym too.


  4. Kim Connolly Says:

    Shannon jumped in the Essex County Championships today, she won with a jump of 3.25m, attempted 3.40 and was very close to getting however it was not to be today but hopefully soon.


  5. Kim Says:

    Went to Bedford last weekend where Shannon jumped in the Bedford International Games, she jumped 3.35m which equals her PB with first time clearances the whole way, the next height was 3.50m where she tried to use a bigger pole but unfortunately didn’t manage to clear the bar.

    This weekend was the second match of the UK Woman’s Premier League, at first it was pouring with rain and her event was postponed, after a lot of waiting around the conditions improved and she jumped 3.20m for 3rd place scoring good points for the team.


  6. Kim Says:

    Another update on the past few weekends.

    On Sunday 15th June Shannon jumped in the South of England Championships where she came 7th out of 15 girls, she jumped 3.30m which means she is really consistent, attempted 3.40m but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be.

    On Saturday 21st June she jumped in the England Championships where she jumped a PB of 3.45m on her newest pole and she had a half decent attempt at 3.60m. The starting height in this competition was 3.30m only 5cm below Shannon’s previous PB and she cleared it first time showing it wasn’t a problem. Going into the competition on paper she had the lowest PB in the field and she managed to come 10th out of 13 girls, 9th and 8th place also jumped the same height but due to Shannon having more failures she ended up 10th.


  7. Kim Says:

    Heres another update on the past few weeks,

    On the 5th July we travelled to Eton for the last match of the Uk Womens Premier League where Shannon jumped 3.40m, she was very pleased with this as its the highest she has jumped on the pole she used that day, she then tried to jump 3.50m on her newest pole but unfortunately she couldn’t quite use it like she did at the England Champs. However she managed to take 2nd place scoring great points for the team helping them to finish 2nd on the day and 3rd in the overall league.

    The weekend after this on the 12th July Shannon was chosen to pole vault for Essex in the English Schools Championships, she jumped 3.20m placing her 8th, this meant she jumped the entry standard which scored points for the team and she had a few close attempts at 3.30m which would have been the national standard. Unfortunately she wasn’t happy with this as she had been jumping very well in the previous weekends but we were pleased and think she done well for her first time competing at English Schools.

    After this she then didn’t compete the weekend after but she jumped in the Dartford open meeting on Wednesday 23rd, here she jumped 3.25m and had 3 good attempts at 3.40m only knocking the bar off with her elbow on the last attempt.

    On Sunday 27th July she jumped in a Youth Development League match where she came 1st scoring good points for the team, she jumped 3.30m which was a very good clearance and then attempted to jump a PB putting the bar up to 3.50m but she didn’t manage to clear the bar, however the rest of the competitors were out of the competition by the time Shannon was jumping so she didn’t have anyone to go against which made it less competitive for her. She was pleased with how she jumped though and she has been selected to represent Essex in an inter counties match on the 3rd of August where she is hoping to continue jumping well.

    All the best,

  8. Kim Says:

    Heres whats happened in August,

    3/8/14 – Shannon jumped in the South of England u20 Inter County Championships, she jumped 3m but she was very travel sick the day before so to still come out and jump and manage to clear a height was an achievement.

    24/8/14 – Shannon jumped in the CAU Inter County Championships, she jumped 3.30m then attempted 3.50m but wasn’t successful this time.

    30/8/14 – Shannon jumped in the London Inter Club Challenge and this time she was successful at jumping 3.50m on her first attempt which is a new PB for her.

    From outdoors last year she has improved by 60cm and from indoors this year 30cm which is a great achievement, she is now currently ranked 13th and hopes to improve on this next year.

  9. Shannon Says:

    Heres an update on the past few months, I am currently studying at the University of Bath which is going very well and training here throughout the winter has produced some good changes to my jumping.

    The first competition of the new year went very well, I jumped 3.50m which equals my PB and it was on 2 less strides than when I jumped it last year so hopefully there is more to come. In this competition I also had a close attempt at 3.60m.

    I jumped again on saturday 17th at the South of England championships, this year I was jumping as a senior and came 1st with a height of 3.30m and a close attempt at 3.40m, I wanted to jump higher but it was still a win against girls that are older with better PBs than mine. Also an improvement on last year where I didn’t manage to record a height.

    I am currently ranked 4th as under 23 and 11th overall, however this could change as its early in the year, but so far its a great start. I will be competing again at the London Indoor Games on the 31st of January, and at the Eastern + Essex County Championships the following weekend.


  10. Shannon Says:


    On the 31st February at the London Indoor Games I jumped 3.36m and come 3rd, in this competition I had some close attempts at 3.51m. At the Eastern + Essex County Championships the weekend after I won the senior Eastern + Essex title with a jump of 3.45m and also had some good attempts at 3.55m. I also decided to jump at the Brunel Jumps & Shot Festival on the 14th February where I jumped a new personal best of 3.52m, I also had some close attempts at 3.62m. I have now finished competing indoors and am looking forward to jumping outdoors around April/May time.


  11. Shannon Says:


    I have had a few competitions outdoors, I jumped at BUCS representing my university, and managed to come 7th out of 18 despite being ill the week before. I also jumped in the Essex County Championships yesterday, which I won and jumped a new PB of 3.60, the next competition is in Edinburgh on the 6th June


  12. Shannon Says:

    Heres an update on the past month of competitions,

    6/6/15 – We travelled to Edinburgh for the first UK Womens Athletics League of the year and the pole vault ended up getting called off. The team managers took a vote after some athletes raised concerns about it being too dangerous and the majority vote was to call it off. The rest of the team done really well and won the match.

    Match report: http://www.thamesvalleyharriers.com/tvh-win-the-opening-match-of-the-uk-womens-league/

    13/6/15 – I jumped in the South of England Championships at Lee Valley where I missed out on a medal coming 4th with a jump of 3.60m to equal my then current PB, I went on to attempt 3.70 but after a long competition wasn’t successful.

    21/6/15 – I jumped in the England Athletics under 23 Championships in Bedford, here I came 4th again only losing 3rd place on count back, at this competition I jumped a new personal best of 3.65m and attempted to jump 3.80 moving up to a bigger pole but didn’t manage to clear it.

    27/6/15 – I jumped at the London Inter Club Challenge in Copthall, here I jumped 3.62m for equal 1st place and attempted 3.72 but again wasn’t successful.

    4/7/15 – I travelled to the Linford Christie Stadium which is Thames Valley Harriers home ground and the club I jump for, here I managed to jump a new personal best of 3.70m and win the pole vault, breaking my own club record again. I also took part in javelin and high jump just for points to help the team, and we ended up winning the overall match that day. They also awarded me woman of the match.

  13. Kim Connolly Says:

    Hi all,

    Shannon has now finished her season and is ranked 7th in her fist year as an under 23 with a height of 3.70m.

    After her last competition we all traveled to Birmingham for the 2nd match of the Uk womens league, Shannon jumped 3.40m and had a really close attempt at 3.60m but just brushed the bar off. Unfortunately the officials decided to interfere with the competition to try to fix something which led to a delay, and the pole vaulters also had to deal with javelin throwers running across the runway which was very annoying for them. Shannon come 4th in the A string and contributed to the team winning the match by just 3 points.
    The official match report is here

    The weekend after on the 18th of July Shannon was back in Birmingham for the British athletics jumps and throws fest, here she jumped 3.65m and attempted 3.80m. She come 6th but was pleased with the height after the previous weekend.

    Her next competition was on the 2nd of August and this was to represent Essex at the Inter Counties, unfortunately she did not feel well a bit before the competition and during the warm up, which led to her being sick after she finished jumping. Despite this she managed to jump 3.50m coming 9th, she did attempt 3.60m but didn’t make it.

    The next competition was the last match of the UK womens league where once again Thames Valley Harriers placed 1st, which means they won the overall league and will go on to be GB’s representatives at the European Club Championships next year. This is a huge achievement for the club as they are the 1st club from the South of England to win the title.
    The match report from the club is here

    Although there was a good end to the match, Shannon did not manage to record a height as she failed all 3 attempts at her opening height. She was not happy but the club won by quite a few points so was relived to not have effected the overall outcome. This is the first time she has failed to record a height since the start of 2014.

    After this Shannon and Rob decided it would be good for her to take a bit of a break from competing, a few weeks later she jumped at the London Inter Club Challenge and jumped 3.60m, she also had some good attempts at 3.80 which was pleasing as this was much better than her previous competition. This was her last competition but she is positive as she now starts at heights she struggled to clear last year, she will be going back to University at Bath next week and will continue to train and hopefully improve throughout the winter.

    Throughout August Shannon was not very well, what we thought were hay fever symptoms at first turned out to be a chest infection for the 2nd time this year. After a course of antibiotics she still took a while to recover, but despite a bit of a cold Shannon is back to being well again. This was very annoying but she coped well and still managed to produce some good performances.

    In other news she is now a fully qualified Lifeguard and first aider, she also finished her first year of university with a 2.1 which she is pleased about.

    All the best,

  14. Shannon Connolly Says:

    Hi all,

    Whilst being back at university, winter training has been going mostly well. Speed has been a key area of my performance that I have been looking to improve, at university we have the ability to test this, and after a few months of hard training the test results show I am getting quicker, which is a big positive, and a key factor in allowing me to jump higher.

    With help from the rotary club I have been able to get access to regular sports massage this winter, which helps with recovery, and to keep me healthy by addressing any niggles before they develop into an injury problem. The rotary club have also made it possible for me to get access to specific equipment such as shoes, (sprint & weightlifting) medicine balls, and resistance bands, which are really helping in developing my athletic ability this winter.

    I was supposed to be competing either the weekend just gone or the weekend coming, but unfortunately due to being hit on the M4 travelling home from university, my car is being repaired and I currently have no way of transporting poles to and from competitions. However my first competition of 2016 should be the first weekend of January, I also have a few more lined up throughout January and February. The main competition I am aiming to be selected for is BUCS (British Universities & College Sport) indoors in late February, where I hope to be chosen to represent the university. Until then we will continue to put in a good amount of training, and figure out any issues so I am ready for the indoor season.

  15. Shannon Connolly Says:

    My first competition in January didn’t go very well, only jumping 3.16m I finished 8th place. The weekend after I was supposed to jump at the South of England Champs, however I decided to miss this due to a sore hamstring. After allowing it to rest and taking my January exams I jumped at the London Indoor Games on the 30th January, this competition also didn’t go well and I only cleared my first height of 3.15m.

    However despite a slow start to the indoors, this weekend I jumped at the Eastern & Essex County Championships, here I jumped 3.50m on a shorter run (10 steps). This means a new 10 stride PB and I also won the Eastern & Essex title for the 3rd year in a row. Unfortunately I wasn’t selected for BUCS indoors, but there may be other competitions that I will compete in before the indoor season is over.

    University is also going well and the results I have been getting are good, currently maintaining a high 2.1 average. I have also accepted a placement at the South Australian Sports Institute for my professional placement year at university. This starts in July and I will be in Adelaide for a year where I will continue to train and compete.

  16. Shannon Connolly Says:

    Heres an update on the past few months,

    I jumped at my university in one of my first outdoor competitions, I jumped 3.30m which wasn’t too great but not a bad start for the first outdoor competition.

    After this I was selected to jump at BUCS outdoors, they changed the process of the competition this year meaning we had a qualifying round and a final. On Saturday the 30th April the qualifying took place, and a jump of 2.90 was all that was needed to secure a place in the final which I managed easily. The final was on Monday 2nd May, despite starting well and clearing each height on the first attempt, the field referees decided the weather conditions made it too dangerous to finish the competition. This meant the competition was abandoned and points / medals were not given.

    After BUCS and I had the Essex Outdoor County Championships, which I won with a jump of 3.40 m, meaning I have been indoor and outdoor champion for the past 3 years. In this competition I took the next height of 3.60 but couldn’t manage to move up poles, frustrating as the week after in training I did.

    My next competition was the European Champions Clubs Cup, which was in Leiria Portugal. In this competition we represented GB and we got to compete against other countries. Travelling abroad with vaulting poles was an interesting experience, and on competition day we were very unlucky with the conditions. Jumping into strong winds, I still managed 3.35m securing equal 2nd place, although I wasn’t pleased with the height I helped my team to win the overall competition! Meaning we have made club history once again.

  17. Jan Says:

    I have been coming back from injury for around 2 years now, since the last round of rehab , about 11 months ago, everything has been progressing in the right direction. I have been going through a near full winter training program for the past 3 months now, and I am slowly getting back into the swing of training properly. The Achilles injury I had has been settled for some time, there has been a couple of flare ups but so far these appear to be one off occurrences, I am managing them well and being careful so they don’t progress and stop me training again. The main aim has been to get back healthy and get back to a competitive level. So far this is going well and I am currently the first pick pole vaulter for BUCS (British Universities and College Sports) indoor and outdoor athletics competitions. This is new for me as I usually miss out on selection for the indoors. It has taken a bit of time to get coordinated again with pole vaulting, as I wasn’t allowed to run for so long, but it is coming back now and with a month or so to go till the first indoor competition I am optimistic about my vaulting.

    In other areas I am getting close to half way through my last year here at Bath University, and the few results I have had back so far have gone very well.

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