The former javelin world record holder joined Head Throws Coach David Turner to deliver a hands-on session at HiPAC to Loughborough’s performance athletes.
Backley shared his experiences of the very highest level of sport, advising how throwers can take those extra steps to progress from junior international through to senior performance level.
No stranger to the Loughborough surroundings, Backley enrolled at the University in October 1988 to study for a BSc Honours degree in Physical Education, Sports Science and Recreation Management. He was also awarded an honorary degree in 2002.
His own personal best performance occurred on 25 January 1992, when he set the then world record of 91.46 metres at North Shore City, New Zealand. This remains the British record to this day.
Speaking to Loughborough Sport, he said: “The dynamics at play [and] getting good people in the room is what Loughborough is all about.
“That's what transformed my world. There are a bunch of athletes over here warming up, stretching, looking at each other, copying each other, working out the best way to do stuff. That's gold. That's where it really matters. And that's why this place is so successful.”
During Backley’s visit, David Turner also discusses the future of javelin throwing on campus: “It's always difficult to tempt fate, but I think over the next few years, you're going to see some quite surprising Javelin results with some of the youngsters that we've got coming through.
“Certainly, over the next three or four years, I think we’ll find a senior British javelin thrower is qualifying for major championships again.”