Vernon was introduced to the triple jump during a PE lesson. Using sport to compensate for his academic disappointments, Vernon continued to excel at triple jump where his physical strength outshone his low self-confidence.
As a young athlete Vernon overcame many setbacks including serious respiratory problems, and sport helped to greatly improve his health and fitness. He experienced bullying at school and found sport perfect for channelling his frustrated energies into constructive achievements.
Vernon won his first national title in 1979, and over the following five years he set a series of records, won multiple national championships and received his first senior international honours while still attending school. Aged 19, Vernon won a sports scholarship to Southern Methodist University, Texas; he graduated in 1988 and in the same year qualified to represent GB in the Seoul Olympics.
Vernon’s greatest career achievement was finishing 13th at the 1988 Olympics as the top of three British competitors representing GB. He finished his international career in 1992 as top ranked GB indoor Triple Jumper.
Vernon remains committed to sport in retirement and among a variety of roles he sits on his local ‘Sport Relief’ grant panel awarding funds to sports-based voluntary and community groups.
- 1990 - 7th Commonwealth Games
- 1990 - 4th European Indoor Championships
- 1989 - GB European Cup Championship Team
- 1988 - 13th Olympic Games
- 1986 - NCAA Division 1 Championship Team
- 1983-1992 – Senior International Triple Jumper representing GB.