Cavapoo Bowie keeping athlete Sharp sane during testing period

·3 min read
Pic: Reuters
Pic: Reuters

Lynsey Sharp says her new puppy has stopped lockdown from feeling like ‘Life On Mars.’

The Dumfries-born 800m star invested in a cavapoo called Bowie just before the lay-off, naming her canine companion after her favourite artist who also shared his surname with her mum’s maiden name.

The 29-year-old has navigated the last three months in Loughborough alongside fiancée and fellow National Lottery-funded athlete Andrew Butchart, cooking, baking and dog walking their way through the break as the countdown to sport’s resumption continues.

Sharp admits she was worried about filling all that free time, but her six-month-old puppy is her new Starman.

“We actually got a puppy just before lockdown as we knew it would be really good to have the time at home to train a dog, so we’ve had her to focus on!” Sharp, one of 1,100 athletes supported by National Lottery funding through UK Sport’s World Class Programme, said.

“I used to listen to David Bowie a lot when I was younger, while it’s actually my mum’s maiden name as well so there’s a double reason as to why the new dog is called Bowie!

“She’s still really young but because we’ve had the time to train her, she’s so good – having her has meant that we’ve been able to get out and walk her so get the steps up every day, and with my runs that’s a lot of exercise!

“It’s also been really nice to see neighbourhoods coming together and helping each other out during lockdown - we’ve spoken to people so much more than we have done before.

“It’s definitely changed the way we live and lockdown’s brought communities closer together - now that everyone’s at home everyone’s been speaking to each other.

“It’s been really nice to get to know people more in our neighbourhood and community, so that’s definitely been a positive.”

National Lottery funding helped propel Sharp to both London 2012 and Rio 2016, with her access to world-class coaches and pioneering technology enabling her to compete on home soil as a 22-year-old eight years ago.

The middle-distance ace failed to make the final in Stratford but finished sixth in Brazil, setting a personal best time of 1:57.69 and now vying to add to the 864 medals secured since National Lottery funding started in 1997.

Sharp soared to Commonwealth Games silver in Glasgow in 2014 so knows all about how to deliver when the pressure is on, as she held her nerve in front of a raucous home crowd to send the watching millions in Scotland into raptures.

Elimination in the Gold Coast heats in 2018 followed but Sharp reckons her experience of adversity can only serve her well in Japan.

“Having that experience of going to an Olympics at 22 was invaluable, while Rio was really different again, so I’m lucky to have that experience at the Olympics,” she added.

“National Lottery funding has been invaluable over the last 10 years of my career and the dream is definitely an Olympic medal.

“I finished sixth in Rio and want to progress from that - it won’t be easy, but I’ve just got to put the work in and do everything I can.”

No one does more to support our Olympic and Paralympic athletes than National Lottery players, who raise around £30 million each week for good causes. Discover the positive impact playing The National Lottery has at and #TNLAthletes #TracktoTokyo