July 17, 2020
Dear Review Committee:
It is my pleasure to recommend Linda Hughes for consideration as part of your Physical Education program.
Linda has competed in a variety of sports, and understands athletics from the athlete’s perspective. She is also a certified trainer who coaches weight lifting, and an experienced dance instructor. After breaking her leg on a rainy obstacle course, she rehabilitated her strength and adapted her training. In fact, she challenged herself to train with right- and left-dominant sides to minimize her weaknesses.
I met Linda in 2015, as a new athlete in the Highland Games. Linda had challenged herself to learn all nine events, and approached her throws with focus and determination. But she was a joy to compete with, always keeping us positive and grateful for the opportunity to share the field. She was observant about my form, and generous in sharing her advanced knowledge of the Games to help me avoid injury. I had been training with a coach who demeaning and critical, and who could not adapt his methods to the smallest woman competing in Colorado.
When I started training with Linda instead, she immediately tailored my throwing technique to compensate for my size and leverage my flexibility. She developed a personalized strength training program, just as she did for her other athletes. There is no one-size-fits-all approach with Linda, and she embraces challenges like training athletes with disabilities or injuries. At Highland Games, she often gives demonstrations and clinics for spectators of all ages. Her enthusiasm and creativity have recruited several new athletes to our sport and to her practice sessions. When COVID-19 hit, she was ahead of the curve in offering online instruction, and generous in distributing implements so athletes could practice at home. Since her curiosity knows no bounds, she had learned to make her own implements, from Scottish hammers to portable standards for height events.
To keep her athletes motivated, Linda organized a COVID-compliant Highland Games competition in May. As a retired athlete and certified judge, I was privileged to judge the athletes she has been training, ranging in age from 22 to 85 and in experience from novice to world champion. We all left with full hearts after a day spent celebrating our sport and our community. Linda filmed everyone’s throws and posted them on her athletes’ Facebook pages with praise for their efforts. She instills a love of movement in a safe, supportive environment of growth and possibility. You are welcome to contact me with any questions at the number and Email address below(*contact us for this info, was removed by admin for privacy).
Testimonial transferred from email attachment to site by Linda M Hughes, 7/29/2020