Putting in the park can propel Isaac Delaney to the top

Isaac Delaney is intent on leaving no stone unturned in his bid to make it as an elite athlete.

By Craig Salmon
Thursday, 14th July 2022, 4:45 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd July 2022, 9:02 am

The Preston Harriers ace has been a very interested spectator of events over in Eugene, Oregon, USA, where the World Athletics Championships have been taking place over the past week.

In a real treat for fans of track and field this summer, the Worlds will be closely followed by the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, which begin a week today.

Then there is the small matter of the European Championships, in Munich, towards the middle of next month.

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Rising Preston shot putter Isaac Delaney

Rising shot put ace Delaney – who is 17-years-old – has ambitions of one day appearing on the sport’s biggest stages.

His potential has already been recognised after he was selected to compete at the European Youth Championships, in Jerusalem, Israel, earlier this month where he reached the final, eventually finishing seventh after throwing 18.20metres.

After landing back on home soil, he immediately headed off to the English Schools’ Championship where he comfortably claimed the shot put title.

Delaney’s fine results are no coincidence considering the dedication he has for his craft, which was seriously tested during the Covid-19 pandemic and the various lockdowns.

With facilities closed, Delaney spent his hour of daily exercise honing his technique at the local park – making sure to keep out of the way of dog walkers and joggers.

His grandma Adrienne said: “Isaac was still throwing during lockdown in the local park – he would got to West End Park in Penwortham.

"His granddad rigged-up a portable circle for him – and that’s what he had to do when our garden got too small. He still goes to the park now – especially during the winter months when the track is closed.

"It’s funny actually other people using the park are always glad to see him, especially older people.

“They like to watch him – obviously they keep out of his way but he is really careful anyway.”

Delaney first showed promise at athletics when he was a pupil at All Hallows Catholic High School.

Able to run fast – he boasts a personal best of 12.2 seconds in the 100m – as well as ability at all field events, the youngster was encouraged to join Harriers by his teachers.

He is now considered as an athlete with huge promise and attends the Youth Training Programme at Loughborough University.

He is currently studying A levels in chemistry, biology and mathematics at Cardinal Newman College, in Preston.

Adrienne admitted Harriers – in particular his coach Michael Kiley –have been hugely influential in his career so far.

“He has aspiration to be the best he can be in athletics,” she added. “The world is his oyster – he’s a very bright lad as well.

"He works hard and is very focused – and it’s wonderful for Preston Harriers because it’s a very small club compared to other clubs in other parts of the country.

"But to say they are a small club, they have had a lot of athletes who have gone on to big things.”

Delaney is due to be a guest for one day at the Commonwealth Games where he will gain experience and inside knowledge of what it’s like to compete at a major event.