Athletes Stories

“While you still have one attempt you haven’t lost…”

Meggan O’Riley

I began training with Vasily from the age of 18 when I relocated from my home town of Adelaide to Melbourne. In the beginning, I spent a number of years developing a foundation of strength, conditioning and technique, however, I soon learnt that my journey with Vasily was less about athletics and more about personal growth and development. I struggled through the first few years of life in Melbourne and faced many difficult lessons. Through these tumultuous times, Vasilys teachings helped to shape my character and change my natural predispositions towards hot-headedness and irrational thinking. I soon found that these transformations served not only in my personal life, but also helped to improve my sporting capabilities. As well as his life teachings, Vasily has been a great sports coach. He has a wealth of knowledge in health, strength & conditioning, competition preparation and injury rehabilitation. His knowledge and experience has brought me three national triple jump titles while also educated me in general health and wellbeing. My relationship with Vasily has played an integral part in my sporting achievements and personal development. It has helped to mould me into the person I am today and I know I will draw on my experiences and lessons for the rest of my life.

I was incredibly fortunate that Vasily spotted me when I was a scrawny 16 year old kid. As soon as I met him I knew he was someone special. I spent the next 15 years with him as my coach and Teacher. I trained with him 4-5 times per week and the training sessions varied from strength and conditioning, where he taught me exercises to push my body that I haven’t seen anywhere else; technical, where I learned about my ‘weak links’ and attempted to change small details; and when I was injured, rehabilitation.

From day one, he was much more that an athletics coach, he not only cared about my athletic development but he pushed me to better myself in life. He urged me to excel in school and university, highlighted my deficiencies and helped me develop and polish myself and my lifestyle. My athletics career was full of many incredible highs and painful lows, he helped me appreciate the highs and to learn from the lows. Without Vasily there wouldn’t have been any highs or lows, I wouldn’t have an athletics career.

I have since discovered that Athletics was just the vehicle for Vasily to teach me about how to live a successful life. Vasily used the challenges that Athletics continually created to teach me how to handle and navigate life’s challenges. What Vasily has taught me over our relationship is far greater that jumping far into a sandpit, he’s taught me how to continually better myself, learn from my mistakes and to care for others as he cared for me. I am now a full time Athletics coach and attempting to follow in Vasilys footsteps and pass on the invaluable life knowledge he gave me for so many years. He has given me the tools to excel in the next stage of my life as well!

Dylan Johnson

Dylan trained with me from 2009 when he was 13 years old.

Dylan competed in many youth national championships and always reached the final but didn’t medal – this was a source of frustration for him but hardened his character and determination and finally he won the Australian National Under 20 Championship (2015) and then in 2017 became a Bronze Medallist.

Adam Rabone

Adam was one of my first Melbournian athletes and he trained with me during 2006-2011. During this time, he finished University as well as working as a model.

Adam’s sporting career had been continually interrupted by injury. We started general strength training sessions before specializing in triple jump sessions. Adam had great ability to recover after a big training session and was always ready for more training.

Henry Frayne 

 I started training with Henry when he was 12 years old. He moved interstate while completing his year 12 and he successfully competed for the National Team in Long Jump and Triple Jump.

Ellen Pettitt

Ellen trained with me during the period from 2011-2016. She was a high jumper and moved to Melbourne as the doctor had advised her to prepare for an ankle operation because of chronic ankle injury. Instead of doing the operation, we started to do specific exercises and changed her posture, walking and running technique. Within a few months her foot was not causing her problems and she won the National Title in High Jump. It was interesting for me as she won this competition on the back of triple jump base training sessions. She then started to train for triple jump more seriously.

She moved from High Jump to Triple Jump and is one of the only athletes I know who has won the Australian National Championships and represented Australia at Commonwealth Games over the years in both events.

Maxim Mishchenko

Maxim started to train with me at the age of 30. He is a busy man as he has his own engineering company and two beautiful daughters. When we first met, he hadn’t trained or competed for a few years.

Before we could start with pole vault training, we needed to work together on general strength training – ( it was about 6-7 months before he took a pole in his hands – in his first competition he broke the pole!!!) Maxim is very competitive at training sessions and all the young athletes want to beat him. (smiley face). He is a great partner and role model for the younger athletes.

In 2 years of training he achieved a PB in Pole Vault of 5,23