TOKYO BOUND: Aaron Heading.

Aaron still has Olympics in his sights

At this point Long Sutton shooter Aaron Heading was hoping he’d be finalising plans to realise his Olympic dream in Tokyo.

Instead the closest he’s getting to sporting action is throwing Fisher Price pieces around with 14-month-old son Hennessey.

The 32-year-old is loving spending more time than usual with his family having not been able to train since mid-March.

But from a sporting perspective, everything’s up in the air.

Last September, Heading won men’s trap silver at the European Championships in Italy, a result that guaranteed Team GB places in the 2020 Olympic tournament in Tokyo.

Despite Aaron earning the places for his country, he himself was not guaranteed to be chosen, but after his results last year he is confident of being given one of the two British slots available.

However the COVID-19 outbreak has led to the Olympics being put back a year as has the announcement of who will take part in the Trap competition in Japan in 2021.

It would be a fantastic pinnacle for Aaron having previously won a gold, two silvers and a bronze at the Commonwealth Games and three bronzes at the World Championships.

“At the moment I’m stuck in a bit of a loophole,” Aaron said. “The Olympics are now scheduled for next year and I’m not even able to train at the moment.

“It’s still unclear whether we can go shooting even after the most recent announcement about the lockdown.

“It’s now looking likely that we won’t be able to train until June 1.

“Some countries are back training while wearing masks, which poses its own problems, but we’re not going to be competing internationally for the foreseeable future.

“The season runs to October, so we may get some domestic competitions in, but everything is up in the air.”

Away from shooting Aaron is a volunteer for the coastguard, but he’s not even been as active with that due to people staying away from coastal areas during the lockdown.

But he is enjoying time at home.

“Don’t get me wrong, I was absolutely devastated when all this happened and the Olympics were put back,” he said. “It was the right decision 100 per cent and everyone’s health comes first.

“But also, because of the lockdown, I’ve been able to switch off and get into family life.

“I would have missed his first birthday if competitions had gone ahead and a whole load of other stuff.

“I’ve been spending more time with him and my wife Natasha whereas normally at this time of the year I’m just not at home.

“I was disappointed at first, but it’s opened my eyes to family life.

“At the minute my main aim is trying not to get fat. I don’t want to put on too much weight and then have to work too hard to shed it before competitions.

“There’s a lovely game I play with my son with a Fisher Prince ring set where I’m throwing them on the ring, as if it’s a fairground game.

“The only difference is my son trying to stop the pieces before they land on the peg. It’s a little thing but at least it’s some sort of training.”

Leave a Reply