Home>Sport>A throw into the unknown with Island Games discus thrower, Tazmin Fayle

A throw into the unknown with Island Games discus thrower, Tazmin Fayle

Friday 25 November in Sport

The road to sporting success rarely runs smooth. Training, travel and coaching costs can ramp up quite significantly over the years, despite numerous attempts to keep things well-balanced. Lesser known athletic sports on the Island can encounter hurdles in their training, offset by the lack of facilities and on Island competitions. And for the likes of upcoming discus thrower Tazmin Fayle, the jump is higher than most, also burdened by the added pressures of full-time work and a B-Tech Sporting qualification. With her sights set on becoming the Island’s first professional discus thrower and competing at the 2026 Commonwealth Games, could Tazmin reach her goal?

Islandlife’s Tia Welsh spoke to her to find out more:

When most of us think athletics, track events often spring to mind -100m, 200m, 400m and so on. Since sprinter Usain Bolt set Olympic records alight at Beijing 2008, athletics has skyrocketed in popularity over the last decade. But what about the events we may not always see?

Tazmin Fayle

Like many other budding athletes, Tazmin Fayle was drawn to the track from the age of eight, following in the footsteps of her older brother until a knee injury forced her to try something new. “It allowed me to find out what I did and didn’t like. I know I’m definitely not the biggest fan of javelin, but I’m glad I found my sport sooner, rather than later,” she admitted.

From then on, Tazmin picked up a serious taste for the sport, finding success throwing in the Youth Development League off Island in the under 15s category. Since then, she’s competed in competitions across the North of England as well as the 2019 Island Games. However, all things come with a price.

“It was hard financially,” Tazmin revealed. “Money and competition are the main challenges in this sport because there’s hardly ever any discus throwing events on Island, so I’m always having to travel, which is so expensive. Ideally, I would like to have some sponsorship to help with off island travel, as I’m relying a lot on the bank of mum and dad.”

Despite this, Tazmin holds an impressive set of records under her belt in the six years since she started throwing, ranking 10th in the under 15s and fifth in the UK in the under 17s females, along with a national qualification. Though the list may seem impressive, it cannot hide the challenges, the 17-year-old has faced.

“Up until I was 15, I never had a proper coach. It was just me and my mum watching YouTube videos on throwing technique,” she laughed. “Then John Whitlow arrived. He became my throwing coach and allowed me to see my potential, even when I was at my lowest! We have a lot of banter, which makes training less difficult.”

Training is certainly one of the highest hurdles Tazmin has faced so far, along with the pitfalls of off-Island competition during the coronavirus pandemic. “I miss out on a lot of the practical side because it’s wet and windy a lot of the time. If there were indoor facilities, training would be a lot easier, but unfortunately we are limited on Island. Training can be quite lonely, as not a lot of people throw discus on the Island.”

It seems sports that fall into the minority ‘bracket’ are more difficult to pursue than others, yet Taz has continued to plough forward with bittersweet determination. Training with Sports Performance Coach, Ben Carling, twice a week has certainly helped her combat these obstacles. Looking back at previous competitions, she said “Personally, the Island Games was a disaster. My head was in the wrong place and so was my body. All the expectation, excitement and pressure just boiled over, but I learned a lot.”

Though young in age, this rising sportswoman has a ferocious spirit to contend with and sharp eye set on the 2026 Commonwealth Games and studying abroad. Her blazing desire to learn, along with the complete devotion to her sport, could pave the way to success.

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