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A promising teenage athlete who died after inhaling petrol fumes on a camping trip in 2010 would have made a top javelin-thrower competing in this year’s Olympics.
The poignant comments were made by his former coach at a Carlisle athletics tournament dedicated to 15-year-old David Foster of Stoneycroft, Great Clifton.
Hundreds of competitors and spectators flocked to Sunday’s event at the Sheepmount Athletics Stadium.
Olympic hopeful Lee Doran, who trained alongside David, said: “It would be nice to do something like this every year to celebrate his life.”
“David was a promising athlete, he had good speed and technique and it’s a shame he’s not here.
“I would love to think he would have been competing in the Olympics. He had the drive and the passion to be the best.”
Mike Doran, Lee’s father and David’s former coach, added: “He was a good-all round athlete, a determined and polite boy.
“He could have been a top thrower, as good as Lee.”
It was Mike who first spotted David’s javelin potential when he saw him hurl a cricket ball.
David’s mum Joanne Foster, 37, said this was the first time that she had returned to the track where her son loved to compete.
Joanne, who attended the event with her family, added: “He loved this track and if he could throw anywhere, it would be here: this was his favourite.
“It’s a good turnout. He should have been here. That’s why I can’t get my head around it.
“He would have been too old to throw [in this competition] but he probably would have still been here to watch and support the athletes.
“The whole family is really honoured that the meeting has been dedicated to him.”
She said that David’s four-year-old sister Abigail had wanted to throw the javelin in his memory though she was too young to compete herself.
The open meeting was organised by Seaton Athletics Club and Team North Cumbria.
The athletics club has held an open meeting annually for about 20 years but decided to dedicate the event to David from this year as a lasting tribute to his efforts with the club.
Junior competitors from Carlisle Aspatria, Ellenborough, Eden Runners and Seaton all took part. They were joined by visiting clubs from over the border in Annan.
Jeff Coates, chairman of Carlisle Aspatria and Team North Cumbria, said there were between 150 and 200 competitors.
A memorial trophy was presented to the athlete of the day – Seaton AC’s Hannah McGarry – by David’s mother (See photograph – Page 24).
David started athletics when he was seven and at the age of 11 started throwing the javelin and won several cups, trophies and medals.
He ran for Seaton AC where he was trained by Terry Hughes.
The meeting brought many wins for Seaton AC competitors including the following –
Emily Cummings,  U17 girls long jump and high jump; George Bibby, U15 boys discus, shot and javelin; Aaron Postlethwaite, U15 boys 200m and long jump; Olivia Mason, U11 600m; Chris Williams, U17 boys 200m and long jump; Hannah McGarry, U15 long jump and high jump; Declan Barnes, U17 javelin and high jump; Tanya Wilson, U17 shot.
Lee Doran

Lee Doran - World Class Javelin Thrower