The range of competitions organised by ESAA, including track and field championships, race walking, combined events and cross country has nurtured the talents of an impressive roll call of leavers:
Triathlon – Alistair Brownlee MBE
Alistair represented West Yorkshire when winning the ESAA Senior Cross Country Championship in March 2006. Less than 6 months later he won the World Junior Triathlon title and then decided to concentrate on the Triathlon. In 2008 he won the World Under-23 Triathlon title. 2 European Triathlon Championships titles (2010 and 2011) and 2 World Triathlon Series (World Championship) titles (2009 and 2011) were added to his list of achievements before his first Olympic triumph at the London Olympic Games in 2012. In 2014 Alistair won another European Triathlon Championship title and the Commonwealth Games Gold. He then won an unprecedented second Olympic title in 2016.
He was awarded the MBE in 2013.
Netball – Kadeen Corbin
Kadeen represented Middlesex when finishing 34th in the 2008 ESAA Inter Heptathlon. She also played netball competitively from the age of 12.
Kadeen won 2018 Commonwealth Games gold playing in the England team that beat the hosts, Australia in a nail-biting final. As a result, the England netball team won both the Team and Greatest Sporting Moment awards at the 2018 BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards. Kadeen has played over 60 times for England.
Rugby Union – Sir Gareth Edwards CBE
Gareth represented Somerset while on a scholarship at Millfield School and won the 1966 ESAA Senior 200 yards hurdles in a record which still stands. Although he was good at many sports, Gareth’s future was always going to be in rugby union. He made his debut for Cardiff RFC in 1966 and within 6 months, at the age of 19, won the first of his 53 caps for Wales. His meteoric rise continued and in 1968, aged 20, he became Wales’s youngest ever captain. In the whole of his international career from 1968 to 1978, he never missed a Wales game.
Gareth also played 10 times for the British and Irish Lions. In 2007 he was awarded a CBE and he was knighted in 2015.
Bobsleigh – Joel Fearon
Joel represented Warwickshire when finishing 6th in the 2007 ESAA Senior 100 metres. He took up bobsleigh in 2011 and combined it with a successful athletics career. In 2016 he became only the 7th British athlete to run the 100 metres in under 10 seconds and ran in several Diamond League meetings. Joel won an Olympic bronze medal in the 4-man bobsleigh at the Sochi 2014 winter games.
Skeleton – Lizzy Yarnold OBE
Lizzy represented Kent when finishing 15th in the 2006 ESAA Senior Heptathlon in the last of her 4 appearances at the ESAA Combined Events Championships. In 2008 she took part in the UK Sports Girls4Gold Talent Scheme, where coaches identified the discipline of Skeleton as a good option for her. She started competing in the Skeleton in 2010 and won her first Europa Cup race in November of that year. She went on to win the World Junior Championship in 2012. Her next major win was the 2013-14 Skeleton World Cup, an 8-event competition in which she won 4 races, was second in 2 others and 3rd in one. Lizzy then became the Olympic Skeleton Champion in 2014. The World Championships and European Championships titles followed in 2015. In 2018 she successfully defended her Olympic Skeleton title and became the first Team GB Winter Olympian to defend an Olympic title. Lizzy was awarded the OBE in 2018.