‘Desire and determination are essential’ – The journey to success for young athletes

With the Olympics just one year away, 20-year-old George Mills, a runner for Brighton Phoenix athletics club, is eager to breakthrough to the big time after years of junior success.

He said that, “it has to be the main goal to reach the games,” acknowledging the professional requirements that are imperative to achieving success in athletics. He added: “Desire and determination are essential.”

Floodlights above running track and training facility

“The first advice I’d give to an upcoming athlete would be to enjoy it all and put 100% into what you do. After that, I’d say find a coach who you work well with and understands you.”

George is also encouraged by his father, former England international and Leeds United defender, Danny Mills. He said: “My Dad has been a big role model for me as he played football at the highest level, so he has given me huge inspiration and motivation.”

Aspiring professional runner, Daniel Stidder, discussed what it takes to become a full-time athlete:

George has had a glittering career at youth levels putting him in good stead to reach his ultimate goal. “My biggest achievement so far is 100% winning the European U18 Championships over 800m in 2016”, he said.

The then 17-year-old came home in first place in the 800-metre final, with a personal best time of 1:48.92.

Eastbourne Sports Park running track

The gold medal was his first on the international stage and it is that taste of success that has pushed the young athlete into having limitless dreams and aspirations, as he heads into his peak years in the sport.

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