Leicester Mercury

Teenager’s heroes as a kid are now her team-mates

- Gvc-plc.com

EMILY SCARRATT and Sarah Hunter are showing Alex Baker the way to women’s rugby greatness, writes Will Jennings of Sportsbeat.

The up and coming rugby union star currently plays for Loughborou­gh Lightning and has also earned internatio­nal recognitio­n with England Under-20s.

The fly-half trains with experience­d Red Rose internatio­nals Scarratt – a fellow kicker – and Hunter at Lightning on a day-to-day basis and says she’s relishing the experience of learning from the best.

“My heroes when I was a kid are the people I’m playing with now,” said Baker, 18, who is financiall­y supported by a three-year partnershi­p between GVC Holdings and SportsAid as part of GVC’s

Pitching In initiative. “When I was 13 or 14 I went down to Twickenham for a school competitio­n I won and I got to meet Sarah and Scarratt – and now I’m playing with them as my team-mates!”

The Loughborou­gh University student has experience in both the Sevens and 15-a-side game.

Sevens is an Olympic sport but the full format has the prestige of a Rugby World Cup – so which one would Baker prefer?

“I’d rather represent England at a World Cup than the Olympics,” said Baker, right. “It would be great and a dream come true.”

■GVC is proud to be championin­g the next generation of British sporting heroes by providing talented young athletes with financial support and personal developmen­t opportunit­ies in partnershi­p with SportsAid. For more details, visit:

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