Britain’s top javelin star throws weight behind new fishing business
- Credit: DANGLER/WARREN PAGE
As Britain’s top javelin thrower, Stowmarket’s Harry Hughes was expecting to be intensely preparing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
But with lockdown moving all athletes’ targets, the 22-year-old has thrown his energy behind a new goal - by launching an online fishing marketplace with his two brothers.
Having become the first Briton to throw over 80 metres in seven years during 2019, Harry is no stranger to success.
Yet while he was expecting to be aiming for gold, coronavirus restrictions in place all over the world meant not only were all competitions cancelled but also the ability to practise.
However, while keeping up some training, Harry put the time he would otherwise have spent into Dangler - a business for fishermen who want to buy and sell unwanted gear online.
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July has seen him launch the firm ahead of schedule with his two older brothers, Kane, 30, and Daniel, 25 - citing his newfound time as the reason for hitting the mark earlier than expected.
“It’s meant that I’ve been able to just drop the focus on javelin because all I’m doing is basically training to keep ticking over,” Harry said.
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“So I’ve been able to increase the focus on the business. It has definitely helped with getting ready for the launch.”
Each brother has brought a different skillset - and with Harry so focused on performance in sport, is no wonder he has taken charge of operations and in-depth background, while Daniel has brought the “creative spark” and Kane financial know-how.
Yet they all share one thing - a passion for fishing.
Harry said: “It’s kind of gone down in a chain reaction.
“My oldest brother, he taught my middle brother how to fish. And then my middle brother taught me how to fish.”
Of the new business, Harry said: “We were sat in the car one day and I’d just sold an item of clothing on a platform called Depop.
“My brother said: ‘Why is there not a marketplace for fishermen? We’ve got tonnes of fishing kit in our shed that we don’t use anymore.’
“We frantically searched online and couldn’t find one so we said: ‘Okay, let’s do it’.
“We spent the next year and a half or two years seeking the help that we needed.
“We found Shout About Suffolk. So we contacted the guys over there and they loved the idea. We kind of clicked with us straight away and they secured us £500,000 investment.
“We wouldn’t be here without that.”
The rest of the year will be equally busy for Harry and his brothers, even though the Olympics have now been postponed until 2021.
“We have a version two of the website coming in a couple of months time,” Harry said.
“And then about a month after that, we will have the app which is the final piece of the jigsaw.
“The focus is also starting to pick up again with javelin because the British champs are in September.”
The brothers are aware that balancing running a business with a career at the top level of athletics will be challenging.
“There will be a point when I get on to the international circuit – when you’re competing in the Diamond League, in the World Championships and the Olympics – and I’ll be flying to a new location every week to compete.
“That will be difficult and there will obviously be a balance to be had.”
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