26th July 2020


After making a permanent return to the United Kingdom, British U20 pole vault record holder Molly Caudery (coach: Stuart Caudery; club: Thames Valley) wants to get back to a consistent level of jumping and hit the heights she knows she is capable of.

After spending nearly two years studying and training in the United States, Caudery has made the decision to return to the UK on a permanent basis to continue her education and training at Loughborough University.

The 20-year-old will join a group including reigning British champions, Holly Bradshaw and Harry Coppell and hopes that now she is back on British soil, it can be the start of something great once again.

She said: “My indoor season didn’t go as well as I would have liked and I made the decision return to the UK instead of going back to America, which I’m hoping will allow me to train harder and get me back to jumping solid heights again next year.

“There were a mixture of reasons for returning, with everything that’s going on due to the coronavirus pandemic I wasn’t sure whether I could have gone back and even if I did there was no guarantee classes would be on, and over the last two years, things haven’t been how I would have liked competition-wise.

“I’ve loved every second of going to America but I think my performance in athletics will be a lot better in this country. To start training with Scott Simpson and Holly Bradshaw and have a really good support team around me in Loughborough and I’m really excited for that next chapter.”

Firmly fixed in her sights is the opportunity to compete at the Müller British Athletics Championships in Manchester in September, which would be her first competition in the UK in over a year.

The championships is an event she knows well, having first competed there in 2016 competed there as a 16-year-old, finishing in sixth position and has not been a stranger to success at a British Championship, winning the 2018 indoor title, backing it up with a top-five finish outdoors.

Achieving a spot on the podium outdoors has become her new focus for the season and feels that if she can get back into the swing of enjoying her competitions, it will bring with it the best form that she is capable of producing.

“I was speaking to Scott not that long ago and there may be some international competitions that I would love to compete at and get some solid heights in before next year starts. The podium would be in my sights for British Champs this year though for sure.

“The last year or two hasn’t been that good to me but I want to get out there and prove to myself and everyone else that it has just been a rough time and that I have still got it. I’d love to be on the podium and a good result will hopefully give me the confidence that I think I need to restart competing.”

Caudery burst onto the international scene when she took European Under-20 Championship silver in Grosetto, Italy in 2017, before further enhancing her reputation in 2018, winning the British indoor title, finishing fifth at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast and breaking the British junior pole vault record in Mannheim.

Despite slipping to a ninth place finish in Tampere at the World U20 Championships, she rounded off her season with a call-up to the senior British team for the European Championships in Berlin.

Reflecting on the seasons that she feels helped to make her career, she said: “European Juniors remains one of the best competitions of my career. I don’t think I would be where I am without that. It was the first time I had been picked for an international competition and I got a 20cm PB while I was there and the whole thing just led up to where I am.

“The Commonwealth Games was a whole other experience in itself and I did better than I thought I ever would, jumping 4.50m in a pre-competition meet as well was a dream for me.

“Before Mannheim, I asked my dad whether he wanted to come. I had a really good feeling about that whole competition and I’d prepared for something great. I’d always been told about how great competing in Mannheim is and the second I landed on that mat I couldn’t believe what I’d done.

“Despite world juniors not going to plan, getting that experience of competing in the senior team at such a young age I think helps to set you up well for the future. In 2018 I went from watching the stars in the crowd to competing with them, now I want to be as good, if not better than them.”

Caudery has been a part of the British Athletics Futures Academy Programme since her breakthrough 2018 season and adds that without the support she has received, achieving half of what she wanted might not have been possible.

With the support of the programme, she feels that getting back to the top of her game is not far away and the potential to move even higher is something that is spurring her on.

“When I came back from America last year, I had a hamstring injury and they gave me all the support I needed and the whole setup is really beneficial to me. Personally, being able to work with Scott and the whole team is brilliant.

“During lockdown, even though we haven’t been able to physically access face-to-face or group sessions, the programme has adapted and moved to provide us with different ways of continuing to train, whether it’s stretching and mobility or workshops. Since being on the programme, and more so recently, all aspects have been really helpful to me.

“Without the programme, I’m not sure what I would have done when I came back the UK last year, without their support, achieving some of the things I wanted to do would have been so much harder.

“Futures has given me the best opportunity to make myself as good as I can be and being on the programme and having the support to do that is huge.”