City of Portsmouth stalwart Steve Davey will fulfil a lifelong ambition when he competes in the European Veterans Indoor Athletics Championships this week.
The 36-year-old has been selected to represent Great Britain at the prestigious event in San Sebastian, Spain.
And when he steps out on to the impressive Anoeta Sports Complex track to compete in the M35 pentathlon, there’ll be no prouder man in the stadium than Davey.
A mainstay of the men’s team at City, the talented multi-eventer has a host of medals and titles to his name thanks to an eventful career.
His latest success came last month when he won silver at the British Masters Indoor Pentathlon Championships at Lee Valley.
But according to Davey, nothing will compare to stepping out in a GB vest on the international stage – even if he’s had to fund the entire trip himself.
‘This is something I’ve always wanted to do,’ he said.
‘You basically enter the competition and then the organisers pass your information on to your own athletics governing body and they say whether they accept you to go and represent the country.
‘It’s not quite as cut-throat as you see it on TV.
‘There is a small process but it’s for GB, which is something I’ve always wanted to do.
‘We get no funding whatsoever.
‘They say you can represent the country but you have to buy all your own clothing, while everything else is out of my own pocket.
‘The first event is the 60m hurdles, and if you crash out of that it’s an expensive hurdles race.
‘But hopefully it will all be worth it.’
Despite two successive pentathlon silver medals at the British Masters, Davey travels to Spain with no expectations.
He also boosts a record that puts him on a par with what the rest of the world has to offer in M35 shot putt, pole vault and 1,500m.
But Davey, who will be joined in Spain by City team-mate Tracy Bezance, believes next year is the time for him to start thinking about European medal glory.
‘I’m going there just to fulfil a dream, basically,’ he said.
‘I’ve never competed for my country so I’m just going there to experience it.
‘I’ve got no expectations other than to go there and give it a go and see what happens. I’ll probably go there, see how it goes and next time I go I’ll go for a medal.’
Davey, who had to overcome a major ankle injury in 2010, will be buoyed by his silver at Lee Valley when travelling to Spain.
However, he revealed he wasn’t entirely happy with his work in north London.
‘I wasn’t prepared to settle for second place at Lee Valley,’ he added. ‘I did the Masters for the first time last year and came second and was well chuffed.
‘I wanted to better it this year but came second again because of my own fault in the shot putt.
‘I threw my best throw in the warm-up, which I always do and I threw over a metre less in the competition. It simply lost me the gold.
‘I then threw the silver medal in the kit bag and headed straight for home.’