Long jumper Ignisious Gaisah has been around the circuit for over a decade. His secret to longevity? It's all in the name.
1. My name has a special meaning
“The full name given to me by my parents is Anthony Ignisious Gaisah Essuman. It was quite a long name, and the name fixed to the schoolbooks growing up was Anthony Essuman. That was the name I was known as when I was a child and during my early track career when I competed at the African Junior Championships.
“However, when I started to compete in Europe, I decided I wanted to be known as Ignisious Gaisah.
“I love the name. Ignisious means ‘unshakeable rock’.”
2. The scar on my face isn't what many think it is
“Some people see the scar on my face and because I was born in Ghana they think it must be a tribal mark, but I got the scar from an elbow in a football game.
“I always wanted to be a footballer growing up. I was a good player.
“Yet aged 14 I was elbowed high on the cheek as I went to head the ball and I had to have four stitches. That for me was the end as far as football was concerned.
“As the blood was falling from my face and my face was swollen, I chose instead to do athletics – a non-contact sport! The following day the boy who elbowed me came around to say sorry and said he didn’t do it on purpose, but he knew he did it on purpose.”
3. I want to help others get fit
“I would love to do track until the day I die, but I know that is not possible. So after I retire from the sport, I would like to do personal fitness training.
“I am motivated to do this for two reasons: one is to help people and give something back; the other is to keep my own personal fitness levels high.
“I worked with some personal fitness trainers after I tore my patella tendon in 2008. They aided my recovery time and also advised me to eat healthily to keep my weight down. They were very helpful in terms of helping me keep up my general conditioning and core strength.”