Nicholls wants to follow Kelly
ASHFORD’S Grace Nicholls enjoyed a dream athletics masterclass with double Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes as part of her preparations for this year’s Aviva English Schools Track and Field Championships.
Nicholls, 18, was among 54 rising athletics stars invited to attend a day of mentoring, education and specialised training with Dame Kelly, having been selected following her bronze-medal winning effort in the 3,000m at last year’s English Schools.
And the Ashford School pupil admitted the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at Loughborough College, sponsored by Aviva, had increased her determination to one day follow in Dame Kelly’s shoes and win Olympic gold.
“It was a fantastic day – hopefully I can keep improving and get quicker and quicker this year,” said Nicholls.
“It’s really motivating to hear Kelly speak and hopefully one day I can follow in her footsteps.
And Dame Kelly, who was joined in helping Nicholls by ‘On Camp with Kelly’ star Charlotte Best, believes the Tonbridge AC teenager will reap the rewards of the unique experience as her blossoming athletics career continues.
“Grace has a bright future in athletics and hopefully the day will help her,” said Dame Kelly, who won gold in both the 800m and 1500m at the Athens Olympics in 2004.
The Aviva Home Countries Schools Championships form part of the Aviva UKA Academy, giving every child in the UK the chance to get involved in athletics by 2012. For more information see: aviva.co.uk/ athletics