Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Perri's Speech Will Be nor Great Shakes; GB Captain to Let Athletes Do Their Thing

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Perri's Speech Will Be nor Great Shakes; GB Captain to Let Athletes Do Their Thing

Article excerpt

PERRI Shakes-Drayton has promised no tubthumping and told her team-mates they will not be rolling in the aisles when she addresses them before the European Athletics Team Championships.

The 400m runner is Great Britain's captain for the twoday event taking place in Gateshead this weekend.

One of her jobs will be speaking to the team before they go on to the track.

It will be a new experience for her, but she plans to lead more by example than words.

"I won't say too much really," she said. "I will just get up and say what I have to say.

"What I say, is it really going to impact on them? They got here without my input anyway, so I will say my little motivational speech and get on with it.

"That will be it. "(Former captain) Dai (Greene)'s speech was good. He had a few jokes thrown in there.

"I'm not going to go down that route because I'm not a comedian. I am terrible at telling jokes, so I will stick to what I know.

"At the moment everyone is chilled. When we have had the meeting it will kick in.

"I might think, 'What have I got myself into?' when I have stood in front of them all."

Team GB's men's and women's teams will compete against 11 other nations to take a title they won on their two previous visits to the North East, in 1989 and 2000.

Points mean prizes, so if the competition is getting tight, Shakes-Drayton could be a late addition to the 4x400m team.

"If they need me I have some spare kit," she said. "But I think it will be a great opportunity for youngsters to get that experience of being on the team.

"If I don't I will just do my captain duties. I did get told I am not running so mentally I am not prepared for it. If I have to I will run."

The plans for that race are still up in the air, but head coach Peter Eriksson - who leaves his job at the end of the competition - is relaxed about that. …

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