STEVE ROE PROFILES A YOUNG SURREY SPRINTER WITH BRILLIANT 400m ABILITY
One-lap runner George Sudderick profiled
NOT for nothing is George Sudderick known as ‘Golden Boy’ at Walton Athletics Club.
He has collected many medals of that colour, it’s true, but the 15-year-old from Staines could boast of much more than pocketing prizes.
This boy never boasts however. He prefers to let his actions do the talking – and they have seen him win England championships, various county titles and the English Schools.
George is a record breaker, too. Over 300m indoors he is the UK all-time No.1 in the under-15 age group (No.2 outdoors to English Schools champion Amir Sultan-Edwards) and when earlier running the same distance he set a European aged 13 best.
Only once has George run 400m, when going second on the 2018 UK rankings (again behind Sultan-Edwards), but significantly it will be his principal distance when he moves to the under-17 age-group next year.
To make a mark over one lap, George intends to increase his training. Up to now he has got by on just two sessions per week, but under coach Andrew Kennard the workload will double.
It means certain sacrifices have to be made. One in particular is giving up on football. Considering he has already turned down a contract offer from Crystal Palace FC, his single mindedness cannot be in doubt.
Surrey-born George first came to Andrew’s attention when winning a district schools match. “I remember saying ‘who is that boy?’” says the coach.
Once Andrew had the answer, he persuaded George to join his group at Walton and it was soon clear a star was in the making.
He did not lose a race in his first season and would win nine championships during the next! One of these was the English Schools 300m when, watched by a proud and somewhat nervous family, he held off Kristian Samwell-Nash of Ashford to claim the coveted title.
Later at the same meeting George collected another gold, when helping Surrey Schools to victory in the 4x100m.
Such exploits rightly earn rewards and George has sponsorship from Everyone Active Leisure Centre Group. They have a branch close to Staines but in fact the teenager has free access to any of their gyms. “They have also given me £500 to help with my training needs,” he adds.
The local council (Spelthorne) are also fully aware of George’s talent as last year they named him young sports personality of the year.
A further honour George hopes for is an England vest. He has sights on wearing one at next summer’s SIAB International.
Andrew calls his athlete “humble, determined and dedicated” and adds: “At the end of the day it’s about him enjoying the sport and being the best he can.”
But praise for George is not limited to those at Walton. A rival club once gave him another epithet, calling him ‘white lightning’.
George Sudderick (438): emerging as a fine prospect in the individual 400m and, below, as a relay runner