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Interview with Matt Sandford (6/21/10)

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    Posted: 8/24/11 at 7:50am

Interview with Matt Sandford (6/21/10)

Here he is, the legend Matt Sanford.  Enjoy reading about a guy who had some wild numbers and won a lot of games. 

How old are you?


Where were you born?

 Melbourne Australia

Where do you live now?

 About 5 miles away from where i was born

How did you end up there?

 Family mainly

How big were you in your prime, height and weight?

Best throws about 117 to 122 g  191cm

What do you drive?

Izuzu 4 door small truck

You ever change your own oil?

Used too, but not anymore

How many languages do you speak?  And what are they?

Just English

What do you think about global warming?

 Little unsure ,lot of propaganda in the press

You ever recycle anything?

 Yeah lots of stuff  ,Where i live you get three bins  landfill, recycle,green waste

What do you do for a living?


How did you get into that?

 Left school a little early and done a little carpentry before

Tell us about your education?

 Left school when i was 17 and then trade school off and on next 2 years

As a kid growing up, what was your first job?

 Brickies labourer

When you grew up as a kid, what sports did you play?

Soccer  Track @field   Aussie rules football

Did you throw in school and if so what did you throw?

 Started throwing in little Athletics at 5 years of age.

What was your first Highland Game and when was that?

 Geelong which is about 1 and a half hours drive west of Melbourne

Who was at that game?

 Joe Quigley is the only name that you will know

What made you decide to try and compete at a game?

 I was pretty much training full time with the wire hammer then and a few guys said to give it a try

What is your favorite event?


What is a common mistake you see people make in that event?

I think a lot of people tend to bend their arms and shorten the radius

Talk about how you would put your week together in terms of lifting weights and throwing practice in season.

 Used to lift on mon squat and pull     tues morning bench  wed  throw then do ab work Thurs same as monday  fri morning bench sat throw sun core stuff  rest

When you practiced, please talk about how many events and repetitions in each event at a practice.

 When  i throw i chase a certain feel   sometimes its there other times not,always tried to throw 80% of my max no matter how i felt.When the feel was there i just threw range type throwing

What are your favorite drills?

  Rotating down a line up to 15 times  good for balance and awearness

Did you do any type of mental work for a game or practice?

 Yes sometimes  i would just shut my eyes and run the throw through my head

For a game day, did you have any types of routines or superstitions?

 Had a favorite sweat shirt

Who were the first people to influence and coach you in the sport?

 My father is the biggest influence and helped coach me for 30 odd years  and at times wore a lot of frustration

Lets just talk about hammer some.  Please just give as much information as you can on what your trying to do with the hammer, how you train it and what your goals are in terms of wind and delivery.

 I will try keep it simple  i like to use the first to winds to set it up so i can go back grab it then apply full force.

Talk about some of the games you have done and your favorites.

So many wonderful games and people

 I did about 35 games a year  and towards the end it became a lot like work.The big ones in Scotland  Braemar Crieff were always fun.One year at Crieff   Bruce and  i tied for the overall ,same points, same firsts  the judges said you cant tie , i had not putted well so Bruce won.Then having a few beers later i looked at the trophy  there it was, engraved on the side  Capes Anderson Tie form the 80s

What country do you enjoy competing in the most, and why?

 I loved to compete and throughout my career even with the ups and downs thats a hard question to answer

Who do you enjoy competing with and why?

 Some of my favorites are East and West coast Dave B Jay little lots of conversation some times relevant to throwing others totally off tap

Let me mention some names and you comment on them;


I think i need to do a number 2


Gentleman Wish i had of meet him ten years earlier



Big Chief;

Only threw against him once  Class athlete


The ex blonde bombshell    Good Friend true ambassador for the games


Talk about some of the throws, games and moments you are most proud of.

 Throwing well at Halkirk  wish i had of dug in 2 inches closer to the trig for the heavy hammer Ptown in 2000 should have taken my extra throws in wob

Talk about training and your philosophy in the area of throwing?

Keys to throwing well

1 try and relax let everything run

2 Big lifts are good if your a lifter

3 always finish on a throw that feels good  dont worry about how far it is

Tell us about some of the injuries you had as an athlete.

I have been very lucky and had only a few injuries (mainly soft tissue) which enable me to throw well fof the years that i competed .I suffered a back injury which required surgery in 2006

What impresses you now in the sport?

 Blown out of the water with 56 for distance results

If you were winding up in the hammer and it slipped out from your hands, who in the sport would you most like to see the hammer hit in the sack?

 Alistair Gunn

When and how did you get into weight lifting?

 I started olympic lifting at 12 years old to improve my throwing.

What training philosophy do you follow in the gym?

 All my work was over or at 80% of my max and didnt bother doing much unrelated to throwing

What lifts did you do for WOB?

one arm deads wide grip pulls and throwing 60lb weight

In the off season what did you focus on?

 Tried to just maintain my strength

Talk about meeting your wife and about her some.

 Meet her in high school  great mother  good person married the wrong guy

How many kids do you have and talk about them some.

3Kids  boy almost 20 now training to be a plumber .twin girls 18 both still studying

What do you like to do outside of the games?

 Relaxing fishing tinkering with cars

What other hobbies do you have?

 Cooking    Cattle

What is your favorite food?

 Mexican  Asian


Do you consider yourself a liberal or conservative?



What do you drink with a meal at home?

 Beer red wine

What beer do you like?

 Any  pilsner favourite

Do you live in a house, apartment or ?



Do you like to garden?

I  love to look at gardens and admire peoples hard work but doesnt really appeal to me


What kind of lawn mower do you have? 

 VICTA 2 stroke


Are you a cat or dog person?

 Both but leading towards dogs

Are you into Astrology?  What sign are you?

 No  Cancer

Are you a religious man, and if so, what do you practice?

 Not by choice     non practicing catholic

Talk about some of the music you listen to at different times.

 Just turn on the radio  like the 60 and 70 s  never bought a record tape or cd

Where do you like to go out to eat?


What do you like to watch on TV?

 Crime shows  Docos

Are you a western movie or sci fi person?  Tell a favorite.

 Sci fi Star wars   and those tacky plastic suits that looked so good 30 years ago

What are the goals for this year?

 Stay healthy and maybe throw a little next year for fun and catch up with friends

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