HomeAthleticsQ&A: Aaron Chatman - Athletics North Queensland

Q&A: Aaron Chatman – Athletics North Queensland


Aaron Chatman is an Australian Athletics legend, profitable a number of medals on the Paralympic Video games in his prime occasion of Excessive Leap. Aaron is a neighborhood of Innisfail, North Queensland.

While the Paralympics Video games are on it’s an ideal time share Aarons athletics profession, the highs and lows, and recommendation to athletes each current and future.

How did you get into athletics and who was your best affect once you began?

I competed at athletics by way of main college and highschool, together with different typical sports activities in North Qld – rugby league, contact soccer, soccer and indoor soccer. My best affect was my Dad, he didn’t know a lot about athletics, however he was driving me wherever I wanted to go and at all times tremendous supportive of something I wished to do. 

What’s your most memorable efficiency?

My most memorable efficiency was positively competing at Beijing Paralympics in 2008, we had a full stadium of 80,000 folks for the night time session and the ultimate phases of the excessive soar ended up being the final occasion of the night time, so we had all eyes on us. To come back away with a silver medal on this and being my first Paralympics was completely unforgettable. 

What’s your Private Greatest? And might you give the story of the day you probably did this efficiency (Do you will have a video of this efficiency that we are able to share?)

My private finest is 2.05m – sadly I wouldn’t have video of this because it was simply at a neighborhood interclub meet in Canberra within the lead as much as Nationals in 2007. It was a small meet with a number of different athletes leaping and I ended up being the one one left within the comp leaping in opposition to myself. Together with my coach, we really opted to cease leaping moderately than proceed on to the following peak within the hopes of doing higher the next week at Nationals however it didn’t pan out that manner. 

Did you do athletics as a Junior and if that’s the case, what was your development from Juniors to Seniors?

We didn’t actually have a junior program and I didn’t compete in Little athletics on account of distance away from the closest membership once I was a child. My athletics expertise as a junior was purely by way of college. I jumped at district stage in main college and state stage in grade 12. From reminiscence my PB as a 16 12 months outdated was 1.72m (doing scissor soar) at 17 I went to state champs and altered to Fosbury flop and cleared 1.89m to get equal 4th at state champs. As an 18 12 months outdated I jumped 1.90m after which at 19 I jumped at IPC World Champs in Netherlands and improved my PB to 2.01m – breaking the world report for my class on the time (1.98m). In March 2007 about 6 weeks earlier than my 20th birthday, I jumped my PB – 2.05m.  

The place you primarily based in North Queensland for a lot of your Profession, or did you progress elsewhere to coach?

I moved to Townsville from my house city of Innisfail in 2005 after I completed highschool and continued leaping at interclub meets by way of the 12 months, I ended up assembly the Para-athletics excessive efficiency supervisor in Townsville and he lined up every week lengthy trial on the AIS in Canberra. I went down for the trial and was invited to remain and supplied a full time scholarship. I stayed in Canberra as a scholarship holder for 3 years, throughout this time is when my leaping progressed shortly. I ‘retired’ to start with of 2009 to maneuver again house and didn’t soar once more till 2015. In 2015 I began a number of teaching periods with college youngsters and located the spark reignited and began coaching once more – this time primarily based in Innisfail and driving an hour to the observe in Cairns for jumps periods.  

Should you have been primarily based in North Queensland, how did you handle excessive efficiency coaching?

It was troublesome to coach in my house city on account of lack of entry to correct services and making an attempt to slot in round full time work. The observe was approx 90km away in Cairns, so I used to be travelling as soon as every week for my jumps periods. The remainder of my coaching was health club/weights at house and plyometrics periods on grass oval near my home, all of this was with out a coach overseeing periods in individual, which actually was not supreme. 

What’s your favorite half in regards to the athletics in North Queensland specifically?

My favorite half about athletics in North Qld must be the power to coach in heat climate 12 months spherical. You by no means want too many layers in our warmth/humidity. 

How did you stability ambitions on the observe and out of doors of athletics? And what recommendation do you will have for creating athletes for all times outdoors of athletics? 

It may be a troublesome balancing act. In my time away from athletics I used to be working full time, so once I got here again to the game, I used to be becoming athletics in round work moderately than the opposite manner round.

My recommendation could be to acknowledge that even when athletics/competing is your ardour, you want to contemplate what you’ll do if you end up now not capable of compete. Converse to individuals who have been there earlier than and attempt to have a path in thoughts that you may work in the direction of and set your self up for, or work on this earlier than the time comes once you really want it. Develop an identification for your self outdoors of sport in order that when the time comes to hold up the spikes, you are ready and should not left with a gap in your life the place athletics as soon as was. If you wish to proceed a profession in athletics as a coach or in improvement, attempt to get the ball rolling on this if you are nonetheless concerned as you might be surrounded by the appropriate folks already to get you there. 

What was your favorite observe to compete at? 

My favorite observe is unquestionably Townsville. The climate was often heat and dry and supreme for leaping and there’s the one thing a bit particular about fort hill rising above the observe. It does set a powerful again drop  

Did you will have any rivals?

I didn’t have anybody I’d contemplate a rival particularly. I’ve at all times felt that prime soar is extra about beating the bar and dealing/bettering my very own efficiency. For me personally, I really feel that if I set out pondering that I wanted to beat a person, it could distract me from my very own course of and hinder my efficiency consequently. 

What was the classification course of like for you and what recommendation do you will have for multi class athletes contemplating giving athletics a go? 

The classification course of for me was very straight ahead, my congenital amputation could be very straightforward for classifiers to view and sophistication me accordingly. My recommendation for these trying to give athletics a go could be to succeed in out to different athletes/coaches and officers. I at all times discovered everybody greater than keen to assist and share their data/expertise with newcomers. 

What occasion are you most trying ahead to watching at this Olympics? 

Olympics and Paralympics – excessive soar! It was wonderful watching womens and mens excessive soar from the Olympics. To see an Australian lady (Nicola McDermott) soar an Australian/Oceania report and are available away with a silver medal was unimaginable. 

The mens excessive soar competitors had me on the sting of my seat and gave me goosebumps to see the camaraderie between Barshim and Tamberi to finally share the gold medal after impeccable leaping from each males. 

Im eagerly anticipating the outcomes from my occasion (T47 excessive soar on Sunday 29 August) at Tokyo Paralympics to see how the blokes soar. 

What was your Paralympic expertise like?

It differed vastly from 2008 to 2016, however each have been wonderful experiences in their very own methods. General it was simply an unimaginable/life altering expertise to be surrounded by so many like-minded people in such a singular manner. So long as I reside it’ll stay etched in my thoughts, leaping in entrance of a stadium stuffed with 80,000 folks in Beijing in 2008 

What did it imply to you personally representing your Nation?

It gave me a way of pleasure and responsibility to put on the inexperienced and gold for Australia. I feel on the time it takes some time for the sensation to actually sink in, however it’s one thing that may by no means be taken from you. 

What’s the finest recommendation you will have for any athlete who has targets to compete on the Pinnacle (Olympics or Paralympics)?

Encompass your self with like-minded, constructive individuals who wish to see you succeed. Converse to extra skilled/profitable athletes and take a look at their mindset. Don’t doubt your self or your means to succeed.   

You only recently retired, how was this course of and what do you do now? 

My retirement was not a fast determination. I had an ongoing ankle damage that basically by no means correctly recovered even after surgical procedure. Leaping grew to become painful each time and I felt that after competing at 2 Paralympics, and three world championships that I had achieved all I used to be capable of and determined to step away from the game. 

I’m working full time as a property supervisor and have achieved so for the final 7 years. Exterior of labor, I’m going fishing, boating, mountain climbing and usually benefit from the outside again in my house city – Innisfail in North Qld. 

Classification Alternative

In case you are a Multi Class Athlete, we’re searching for EOIs for Classification held in Townsville on the twenty third or twenty fourth September.



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