NICOLA Tuthill is only 17 years old and is already amassing a medal collection that’s the envy of many – but this talented Kilbrittain teen is only getting started.
The rising Bandon AC star stole the headlines in August 2020 with her incredible success in the women’s hammer at the National Athletics Senior and U23 Championships in Morton Stadium. Just 16 years old at the time, Tuthill won her first national senior title in style – she set a new PB of 60.04m, smashed the Irish U18 women’s hammer record and also recorded the second longest throw in the world by an U18 in 2020. A few weeks later she added the national junior title to her growing collection, with a throw nine metres ahead of her closest rival.
The Coláiste na Toirbhrite student showed herself to be top of the class in the women’s hammer last year – and her exploits have been recognised with the 2020 Celtic Ross Hotel West Cork Junior Sports Star Award.
The good news is there’s more to come, and at the recent live awards ceremony she outlined her plans for the year ahead.
‘It’s dependent on Covid, of course, but I’m hoping competitions will go ahead in the summer so the national juniors and seniors are scheduled for the end of June – and that’s something to look forward to. I’m also hoping to achieve the qualifying standard for the European U23s in Estonia in July, so that’s another aim,’ Tuthill explained.
All her hard work paid off last year as her success last summer showed, and Tuthill was full of praise for her parents and coaches’ roles in her glorious year, especially during the first lockdown of 2020 when the groundwork was laid for her great year.
‘I’m very lucky, I have a throwing cage and a circle – that my dad built in 2019 – at home on the farm where I live so I was able to continue training when we weren’t able to travel. It was great to have that cage at home,’ says Tuthill.
‘One of my coaches dropped down weights to me which I used in the garage and that was great too.
‘I was so lucky with my coaches, Kevin Warner lives less than one mile away from me and he is one of my throwing coaches. Roland Korom, from Bfit in Bandon, lives inside the five kilometres as well so once the restrictions were eased a small bit I was able to meet them to train, socially distanced. My other coach, Killian Barry, is from Dublin and he came on for the technical side. We had to work through videos so I was sending them up to him and he would give me feedback.’
Heading to Dublin for the 2020 national championships, Tuthill was aiming to throw a PB, but she exceeded all her expectations with a golden performance. Now, with a West Cork Junior Sports Star Award recognising her talent, she’s determined to stay at the top.