Pamela LeJean, originally from Sydney, Cape Breton, is one of Nova Scotia’s most successful athletes and has had one of the quickest rises in the sport. That came however after trying two other sports that each left her with painful overuse injuries, an indication of how intensely she throws herself into a sport, no pun intended.
LeJean will be competing in the seated throws shot put event at the Aileen Meagher International Track Classic at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax on June 22, 6:30 p.m.
Having already made a qualifying throw at a meet in Arizona in late May for the Rio Paralympic Games, LeJean will be looking to add another at the Meagher meet with two further chances to follow at a meet in Prague at the end of June, and then the Canadian Championships and Selection Trials at the beginning of July in Edmonton.
After a car accident in 2002 at age 17 left this former rugby player and swimmer unable to walk, LeJean first tried a return to swimming. Her training intensity and competitive drive however left her with painful tendonitis in her shoulders. A switch to wheelchair basketball brought similar complications from using her arms to drive her wheels.
Then three years ago she switched to paralympic throws events. Her progression was nothing less than meteoric.
“I progressed really quickly. I made the senior national team five months into my career, won a bronze at the Lyons, France, 2013 IPC World Championships at 6 months in, and then it was a slower but steady progression upward after that. At the 2015 ParaPanAm Games in Toronto I won gold in the shot put and a bronze in javelin, then won silver at the 2015 IPC World Championships. I hold national records in the javelin and discus, and the North American record for shot put. “
It would be difficult to be modest about all this, but LeJean is quick to credit family support, and her event coach Ueli Albert, and strength coach Mike Bawol for her success. That success might just have a bit to do with her relentless year round training routine.
“I train every day with Fridays off. I try to schedule media and public speaking for that day. I'm either weight training in the gym, or throwing out in the field, rain or shine on any given day. After a workout I schedule a massage, physiotherapy, sports psych or a nutrition meeting to keep in good health.”
LeJean is far from satisfied with her results to date. Her straightforwardly stated ambition? “My ultimate performance goal would be a new world record”
With her third appearance at the Meagher meet upcoming on June 22, Pamela LeJean knows that it will be a progression, not immediate attainment of that ultimate goal.
“My goal for the Meagher is to hit a personal best.”
Given how quickly she has moved up in her event who knows how close a new personal best will bring this outstanding athlete to that ultimate goal.
Tickets for the Meagher Classic are available online at www.ticketatlantic.com, at participating Atlantic Superstores, and at the gate, adults $10, senior and students 16 and under $5.