Alessandro Schenini talks to Ryan McAllister, his Coach about his journey in athletics and his aspirations for the future. Alessandro in recent years has excelled in Long Jump. His PB, a massive 7.59, and a raft of age group rankings and All-time rankings as well in his Power of 10 Profile.
- Like many sports, training has been different for the last year. How have you coped with the difference to your training routine and how do you feel it will be when normal training conditions resume?
I have quite enjoyed the time to train to myself and get to know what suits me and my body best in the past year or so now. Music has been a major help in getting me through sessions by myself or with my coach (who I am sure is now sick of listening to my tunes). However, I have found training alone, although maybe not as much of a good laugh and as exciting, as it would be with the rest of my training partners, has been a blessing in disguise as I have been able to put together some great sessions and feel I am making progress in the right directions towards a good outdoor season in the summer.
- Over the period of Covid-19, grass roots sport has been affected and many sports are looking to increase their participation levels again. How did you begin your journey into athletics?
I began my journey into Athletics by getting entered into the Scottish schools multi events because I was a fast runner on the rugby and hockey pitch (I also wanted the extra days off school in the summer term). From there I managed to get a SIAB selection and after attending the training days in the build-up to that competition, and doing a few more schools competitions over the summer, I decided I enjoyed the few training sessions I did and wanted to do more, so joined the clubs sprints group and things progressed from there.
- Whilst you now specialise in Long Jump, this was not always the case. How important do you think it is, to train and compete in lots of different events when you start athletics?
Yes, I think it is crucial for younger children to continue with as many events as they can and even continue with as many sports as they can. I tackled every sport and athletics event I could think of before focusing on long jump, even after achieving good standards in long jump I was doing other events. Without the variety of events and sports I did before specialising, I do not think I would have got as far as I have in this sport.
You are well supported by the club and Scottish Athletics. What does this support mean to you as you progress with your athletics career?
I cannot express my thanks towards everyone who has supported me over the years, from the volunteers at the club who gave me the enjoyment and encouragement to get involved and to now having access to train in Glasgow during the pandemic through the Scottish Institute of Sport and being fortunate enough to compete during February. This has really helped me progress coming up the age groups and especially now over the last year as I feel I have transitioned well from a junior to senior athlete. Without the access facilities over the winter that I was so fortunate to have, I would have struggled to train as well as I have especially with it being a technical event that I do.
- We are approaching competition season, what does a typical training week look like for you just now?
A typical training week just now consists of 6 days Monday – Saturday. Monday and Friday I do two sessions one at the track followed by one in the gym, on a Tuesday I do active recovery/rest and work on my mobility (which is my least favourite thing to do!), a Wednesday I do some technical jump work, on a Thursday I am at the track running and a Saturday I do some light tempo and some bounding. On a Sunday I try to manage a game of golf if the weather is nice as that is my day off from training.
- It has been a while since you have participated in a competition for your event, Long Jump. What are your aims for this season and how do you feel you have prepared yourself to reach these?
I am very excited to get back into competitive jumping as it feels like a lifetime since I last jumped and I am happy with the changes and improvements I have made in training and my lifestyle. My aims for the summer are (assuming everything goes as planned) to be selected for the European U23 championships in July and to obtain a qualifying distance in my bid for Commonwealth Games 2022 selection. I think these goals are ambitious but very much doable and I would much rather aim high and fall short knowing I have done my best than settle for smaller goals and less achievements.
Thanks you Alessandro for taking the time out to give us your perspective . Greta to hear form you and all the very best with your competitions this season .