Page 6 - BBHAC Winter 2014-15 Gazette web
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4                                                                         Interview


just did so on such an extremely    says it’s your ambition and you       rivals even in opposition as
vague scale and that made it more   can do really well, but everyone      already mentioned in praising
fictional, like literature rather   forgets that being there and getting  Daphne Shippers whom she
than history…”                      there is actually a struggle in       faced that record breaking
In considering this she is          itself… it’s just satisfying to be    evening recently at Hengelo.
comfortable with the idea           able to qualify for it...”            But at least she does not lack
that you can switch to other        If there is an ultimate goal          ambition and there is a steely
disciplines and fields and          she is more comfortable               determination as well as the
not be trapped in a narrow          with the experience of                simple satisfaction of just
mindset. By examining texts         building towards it over a            qualifying if she is “fit healthy
by Professor Natalie Zemon          long timescale, starting with         and running fast” and given the
Davis of the University of          the World Championships at            competition it would, for her,
Toronto, she enters into a          Beijing, and maybe attaining          be a great achievement just
world where history combines        that goal much as Dame Kelly          to make the GB team for her
with other disciplines such as      Holmes did in that brilliant          sprinting at the Olympics.
anthropology, ethnography           climax to her long athletic           So everything in its right
and literary theory, one where      career in Athens in 2004. In          time, and if this time is more
the gulf between science            order to avoid the dangers of         of a learning curve hopefully
and the humanities can be           coming through too soon,              it will be fun and a positive
bridged. “Yes I think history       and creating impossible               experience for her, not one
can be regarded as a science” she   standards by which she will           fraught with the pressures of
adds “because of the scientific     always be judged for the rest         having to deliver too soon.
methodolog y behind it but at the   of her career she has sensibly        What all this suggests is that
same time it has to be a humanity   settled for long term goals,          she has already at 19 gained a
because it has so many biases and   “I’d rather have a long career and    maturity and confidence which
sides of the argument to explore.”  being with John helps since we’re     makes her unique amongst
It’s something she will             working on long term goals rather     those of her age, even those
probably be absorbed by for         than short term ones. Short term      equipped with the same talent
some time to come.                  success is great but not if you’re    and ability as she has, and is
Perhaps her interest in             going to disappear off the face of    aware of how far she needs to
causation and historical            the earth in a few months.”           go in terms of developing her
theory gives her a real sense       So she is prepared to accept          potential. Competing at the
of things happening for a           that it will come when it             World Championships should
purpose and in their own            comes and not prematurely,            be an opportunity for her to
right time. Her ambitions           and this will not come                find that there is everything
on the track could be said to       cheaply? Also that the                to gain by the experience,
fit this. Whilst she has been       competition for this particular       that this may be a foretaste of
tipped for success in major         event in track athletics will         things to come, and if there
competitions she is modest          be stiff. However she is              may be greater challenges
about what could possibly           magnanimous in her rating             to overcome, then there will
happen particularly when            of her rivals for potential           also be, for her limitless
it comes to considering the         selection in team GB in               possibilities.
Olympics. “Well I’d just like to    the near future, and has
be there..” she smiles “everyone    expressed admiration for such                                 Wilf Orton
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