Karla Drew is a rare breed of athlete. As well as maintaining her dedication and application to her sport she has carried on her studies throughout her career. She is now working on her Doctorate at John Moores University, Liverpool whilst continuing to push herself to be the best she can be in the athletics arena. She is also no stranger to Dair, as she is our first (and so far only) guest contributor!

A mad keen Liverpool fan, Karla intended her PhD to be about the dropout rates amongst young Academy footballers (currently for those in Academies at age 16, five out of six will no longer be in football by the age of 21). However, following conversations with her course tutor she turned her attention closer to home and unearthed some fascinating and potentially shocking facts.

As someone who entered Athletics at early age and progressed, with frequent success through the age groups, Karla rarely stopped to consider those around her who, one by one, dropped away from sport. She put it down to usual teenage distractions. For her, committed to being the best she could be it simply seemed like a natural progression to stay within Athletics as she moved from he home in the South West to Sheffield. Working with Toni and alongside Jess the spectre of a potential sporting scandal amongst young athletes didn’t register. Until recently.

Listen to the first illuminating conversation with Karla. It’s the start of a fascinating detective story.