At ten years old, Asia Amede-Charles was bullied because of her body size. Here she tells us how athletics has changed her life.
Tell us about your involvement in athletics
"I have been involved in athletics for nearly six years. I am a 100m and 200m athlete and a member of Thames Valley Harriers, based at the Linford Christie Stadium in West London."
What impact has athletics had on your life?
"When I was 10 years old I was involved in another sport which had put me in a very toxic environment where I experienced constant bullying for my body size as I was not ‘skinny’ enough. I lost all of my confidence.
Moving to athletics has helped me to gain back my confidence.
Mentally and physically athletics has helped me to grow, not just as an athlete but also as a young woman in today's society. Through winter training I have learnt that in order to achieve what you want you have to put in the hard work whether if it is raining, cold, or if your muscles are hurting, as you cannot automatically be the best with a days' worth of training or by just doing the bare minimum. I re-enact this mentality within school to succeed in my academic performance’s."
What is it that you enjoy about athletics?
"I do athletics to prove to myself that I can achieve anything that I put my mind to.
Through athletics I have travelled across England, socialising with many people from a plethora of backgrounds. Being a part of a team like Thames Valley Harriers has taught me leadership and how to be a team player as we are all in this together.
As well as competing I also enjoy watching sport particularly the old athletics videos from previous generations and especially Evelyn Ashford as I have been told that I run like her, so I like to analyse her races’."
Who are your biggest role models?
"My mother and my Coach.
Coming from a low income and single parent household I see how hard-working my mother is, and the sacrifices she makes to give what she can to me and my siblings to ensure that we have a good life. I put my all into everything I do, whether it be academics or athletics, so that I can achieve in life and make my mother pleased because she has done so much for my siblings and I to help us grow into the young adults we are today. My mother is the reason I have everything, and I am grateful to have her in my life.
Not only is Mr. Telfer my coach but he is also my mentor, he has helped me to gain confidence within myself and my academic performance’s. He consistently checks in on my mental well-being and helps to give me solutions to problems that I face."