Jason Chatfield gets goosebumps when describing the journey of some of the athletes he coaches, including Nyngan’s Jade Wye who he said is a “completely different girl” since starting athletics training.
Chatfield, owner of Dubbo-based X-Cellerate Athletics Coaching business, said coming from a mental health background and working with a number of services his aim is to help children gain the confidence they need in life.
The business, which began with four children, has now spread to towns across the region including Nyngan, Narromine and Cobar helping over 60 kids both on and off the track.
For Chatfield, winning medals is simply a “bonus”, but instead, it’s the journey the kids are taking which is what makes him most proud.
“I don’t think people understand just how important sport is in a child’s life,” Chatfield said.
“The messages and emails I’m receiving from parents are that their kids are sleeping better, they are communicating better, their school work has improved and that’s pretty much why I do it.”
It’s very emotional and overwhelming because I’m setting these kids on a different course.Athletics Coach, Jason Chatfield
Jade Wye has been training with Chatfield for eight months and is not only kicking athletic goals winning medals, beating a number of personal bests and recently qualifying for discuss at state championships, but her lifestyle off the track has also improved.
“Jade’s mindset off the track was affecting her goals on the track,” Chatfield said.
“After having a very in-depth conversation with her about her behaviour at home and just how much it can affect her athletics and what she’s trying to achieve has helped her succeed.”
Mother Monique Wye said Jade has not only renewed her love of athletics but has also taught her some “tough lessons in trust and patience”.
“Jade wanted to improve in discus and was setting herself some personal goals, both in Little A's and school athletics,” Mrs Wye said.
“She has had to learn to go back to basics to progress to where she wants and has learnt to trust her coach and be patient with the process and to learn discipline.”
“Jade now trusts Jason fully and will not go against what he sets her.”
“Not only has she become fitter and stronger than she ever was she is starting to kick those goals that she set and is developing a great attitude.”
“Everything she does with him is impacting all areas of her life and she will attest to that as well.”
Chatfield said stories like Jade’s athletic and personal development is what drives him and his business.
Not only has she become fitter and stronger than she ever was she is starting to kick those goals that she set and is developing a great attitude.Mother, Monique Wye
“It’s very emotional and overwhelming because I’m setting these kids on a different course,” Chatfield said.
“Coming from an Indigenous background it drives me even harder.”
Now beginning to coach in schools, Chatfield said athletics out west is essential to help kids build confidence as they come up against the best at state championships.
“A lot of kids here, they’re really the big fish in western NSW, but when they go across the Blue Mountains they come up against kids who have been coached years,” he said.
“Like Melinda Gainsford-Taylor’s got some really talented sprinters coming up at the moment.”
“But I can just see now though some of the kids that I coach they’re getting closer.
“I’m on the cusp now of having 2-3 kids that might go close to medaling at state in four weeks time and that’s something I’m very proud of.”