Friday, 30 June 2017 21:55

Model Morse aims for British discus win in Birmingham

He is the Olympics discus thrower turned model who is hoping for one last throw on the world athletics stage.

Brett Morse, 28, has competed at two Commonwealth Games, two World Championships and the London 2012 Olympics.

The Penarth product is aiming to regain his British title this weekend in Birmingham.

The national championships acts as a trial for the World Championships, which will be held in London on 4-13 August.

In the winter, Morse has also been moonlighting as a model to help him fund his athletics adventure.

Injury and loss of form meant Morse lost his British Athletics financial support in November 2014 and he has had to look at other methods of funding.

Model pupil

After someone spotted a picture Morse had posted on social media, an unlikely call came to help continue his sporting dream.

"It's crazy and if someone had told me I would be modelling five years ago I would have laughed," said Morse.

"I didn't care about my appearance.

"I had a photo shoot before the last Commonwealth Games and posted some pictures of that.

"An agency rang me to see if I would be interested in doing it as a job.

"I thought it was a joke at first and they were winding me up a bit.

"I read the contract and there were no crazy clauses.

"The next thing I know I was the face of a 'River Island' campaign a week later.

"It's been cool. It's a crazy world completely different to anything I have thought about doing in the past.

"I have met some good people and got to travel. Most of the shoots have been in the UK but I had five days in Madrid.

"I am modelling clothes for different brands and I have been put up for some television adverts."

"It is very different to discus throwing!

"Modelling is not as organised and I could get a call now saying I need to be there tomorrow whereas athletics is not like that.

"Sometimes it's nice to take your mind of athletics and it opens different doors."

Morse admitted his new career has received mixed reviews among his family and friends.

"There has been a lot of banter," said Morse.

"There have been a lot of old pictures emerging of me on social media of when I was young with three middle teeth and I was out of shape.

"They find it hilarious, especially my sister, but that's what family and friends are for and I would be doing the same to them."

Getting by

The serious side is that the modelling has helped Morse continue his athletics dream alongside his part-time work in a gym in Penarth.

"I was funded as an athlete but that stopped in 2014," he said.

"There are no excuses and I understand performance targets have to be hit, which I didn't.

"I have had to fund myself although I do have some support from Sport Wales and Welsh Athletics.

"That is not enough to live on and I have been a normal person as well as trying to be a full-time professional athlete.

"I worked full-time for a great company for two years and this modelling thing came along.

"I was able to pack that in and give athletics one last shot.

"I am not a full-time athlete but I have that mindset."

Regaining his title

Morse will swap the photo shoot for the discus cage on Saturday in Birmingham as he looks to regain his British title and at least throw an A standard ahead of the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast next April.

Morse will compete in the first event on the two-day competition on Saturday, 1 July.

"My aim to to regain the title I lost last year because that was hard to take," said Morse.

"If I replicate my training performances in competition I will win.

"We will see how this weekend goes. If I can throw a season's best by a couple of metres I will be on track.

"I would love to go to London and compete in a World Championships.

"The Commonwealth Games has been more my focus because there is something special about representing Wales.

"It has the world number three [Fedrick Dacres] from Jamaica, so it's going to be a high-class competition and I am looking for a medal.

"If I don't throw a Commonwealth Games A standard in the next month I will be surprised."

Brothers in arms

Morse's efforts could eventually be superseded by his younger brother Jay, who does not turn 16 until July but tops the Great Britain Under-17 discus rankings and lies second in the shot putt.

The pair competed against each other in the recent Welsh Athletics Championships.

"He is very talented," said Morse snr.

"I believe he can throw a lot further than I could.

"His physical attributes are better and he is mentally much stronger than I was at that age.

"He is very driven and already talking about going to university in America."

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