Pam LeJean Meteoric Rise in Throws
Sport Nova Scotia – Pam LeJean, originally from Sydney, Cape Breton, one of Nova Scotia’s most successful track and field para-athletes ever has also had one of the quickest rises in the sport. That came however only after trying two others that each left her with painful overuse injuries, an indication of how intensely she throws herself into a sport, no pun intended.
LeJean will be competing in the wheelchair shot put event at the Aileen Meagher International Track Classic at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax on June 22nd, 6:30 p.m.
Having already made a qualifying throw at a meet in Arizona in late May for the Rio Paralympic Games she’ll be looking to add another at the Meagher meet with two further chances to follow at a meet in Prague at the end of June and the Canadian Nationals at the beginning of July in Edmonton.
After a car accident in 2002 at age 17 left this former rugby player and swimmer unable to walk LeJean first tried a return to swimming. Her training intensity and competitive drive however left her with painful tendonitis in her shoulders. A switch to wheelchair basketball brought similar complications from using her arms to drive her wheels.
Then three years ago she switched to paralympic throws events. Her progression was nothing less than meteoric.
“ I progressed really quickly. I made the senior National team 5 months into my career, won a bronze at the Lyons, France, 2013 World Championships at 6 months, and then it was a slower but steady progression upward after that. At the 2015 ParaPanAm Games in Toronto won a gold medal in shot put and a bronze in javelin and then won a silver medal at 2015 World Championships. I’ve got the National records for javelin and discus and the North American record for shot put. “
It would be difficult to be modest about that, but LeJean is quick to credit family support, and her event coach Ueli Albert, and strength coach Mike Bawol for her success. That success might just have a bit to do with her relentless year round training routine.
“I train every day with Fridays off. I try to schedule media and public speaking for that day. I’m either weight training in the gym or throwing out in the field, rain or shine on any given day. After a workout I’d schedule a massage, physiotherapy, sports psych or a nutrition meeting to keep in good health.”
LeJean is far from satisfied with her results to date. Her straightforwardly stated ambition?
“My ultimate performance goal would be a new world record”
With her third appearance at the Meagher meet upcoming on the 22nd Pam LeJean knows that it will be a progression not immediate attainment of that ultimate goal.
“My goal for the Meagher is to hit a personal best.”
Given how quickly she has moved up in her event who knows how close a new personal best will bring this outstanding athlete to that ultimate goal.
Tickets for the Meagher Classic are available online at ticketatlantic.com, at participating Atlantic Superstores, and at the gate, adults $10, senior and students 16 and under $5