After missing out on long jump qualification for the 2012 London Olympics and losing his UK Athletic funding, Gateshead based long-jumper Chris Kirk is switching disciplines and trying the pole vault instead.
Kirk, 27, has also been forced to start his own personal training business to fund his career and stay in competition.
Kirk said: “The Olympic blues kicked in, I felt a little demotivated, so I thought do I want to play in the sand for the next four years looking ahead to Rio Olympics 2016 or do I want to have a dabble at something else?”
“Pole Vault is the next best thing to long jump, the run-ups are almost identical, and I can still get that buzz of flying through the air, its just vertical rather than horizontal.”
“In 2013 I’m aiming to compete in a few minor regional competitions to get used to competing in the pole vault.
“Then in a year or maybe two years I’d like to reach national level and give the likes of Steve Lewis a shock by lining up against them.”