Gareth Jones (Jan 2015)
Gareth Jones is a PE teacher at Robert Wilkinson Academy in Yorkand plays for the British teachers rugby league team.
What school (s) did you go to?
Normanton Junior School and Freeston High School
What’s your earliest sporting memory?
I always remember my granddad taking me to my first ever football match when I was little and been overwhelmed by the stadium and amount of supporters. It was Leeds Utd v Blackburn Rovers
Who were your sporting heroes growing up?
I loved watching the heavyweight boxing era with people like Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson. I was a Prince Naseem fan as a kid though. I also liked watching Cantona and Gazza. I liked the charisma they had as well as been able to back it up on the pitch or in the ring.
What are your best and worst sporting memories of school?
We had a really good rugby league team in high school and I got to play all over the country with and against some good players. I don’t really have any bad memories at school. I really enjoyed every part of school sport.
Can you recall a memorable sporting teacher?
Mr Batley (KB) was a great high school PE teacher although my most influential was Coatsey (Chris Coates). He taught me at college and was a big inspiration getting me more into coaching/teaching sport and showing me the career paths. His advice has led to some fantastic opportunities and experiences I have had.
What sports do you play these days?
I currently play rugby league
In what other ways do you stay healthy?
I actually like being in the gym and training. I also love boxing to test myself physically and mentally.
What is your favourite sporting memory?
Gazza’s famous goal against Scotland in Euro 96 was pretty special and that tournament as a whole although I have to say most recently getting my first few caps for GB teachers rugby league team has to be the best. Walking into the changing rooms and seeing the Great Britain kit hung up and playing in a fantastic stadium against tough opposition is a memory I won’t forget. Hopefully I will have many more.
What’s been your most embarrassing sporting moment?
I once had my rugby shirt literally ripped off me in two pieces straight down the middle mid game which was quite embarrassing considering it was winter and a decent crowd was watching.
What’s your biggest sporting bugbear?
My biggest sporting bug bear is bad preparation and excuses. When you compete collectively as a team you will not only let yourself down but also your team mates if you fail to prepare so I find that quite selfish. Condition yourself right, train right and leave the excuses at home.
When was the last time you cried at a sporting event?
I don’t think I have ever cried at a sporting event. I’m not that sort of person. I love watching the build-up to events and seeing the passion athletes put into their training. The emotion that follows from the outcome can give you goose bumps and get you going emotionally.
Which three sports people would you like to have around for dinner and why?
I like characters in sport. Freddy Flintoff would be quite funny on a night out I imagine. Second would be Floyd Mayweather because although he is a showman and one of the greatest boxers ever, he is actually a really hard trainer and astute business man. His entourage would make sure we had a good night and was well looked after. Last probably would be David Beckham because he’s just Becks and probably one of the coolest guys on the planet.
MY SPORTING LIFE