Ni­cholls wants to fol­low Kelly

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

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

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