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Talented teens aim to star

PUBLISHED: 08:00 19 September 2008 | UPDATED: 21:19 05 July 2010

PREPARING to take on the best, six talented teenagers from the Ashley School have been selected for England trials in athletics.

Competing as athletes with a learning disability, Kimberley Aspland, Lewis Pryke, Holly Durbidge, Chelsea Dixon, Declan Manning and Adam Szucs will be off to Sheffield next week having qualified for the national squad.

PREPARING to take on the best, six talented teenagers from the Ashley School have been selected for England trials in athletics.

Competing as athletes with a learning disability, Kimberley Aspland, Lewis Pryke, Holly Durbidge, Chelsea Dixon, Declan Manning and Adam Szucs will be off to Sheffield next week having qualified for the national squad.

Next Friday the youngsters - who are all aged between 13 and 16 - will head for the Sheffield Institute of Sport headquarters with their proud PE teacher Jackie Milton and their parents/guardians before a weekend of coaching.

The aspiring athletes from the school in Ashley Downs - who all shone at the 11th National Athletics Championships for athletes with learning difficulties in June - will now pull on an England vest and train with the best in Britain.

Adam Szucs has qualified in the 100m and 400m while Chelsea Dixon has qualified in the 200m, 3,000m and long jump.

They will be joined by Declan Manning, who has qualified in the 800m and discus; Holly Durbidge in 100m and discus; Lewis Pryke in the 100m, long jump and javelin and 13-year-old Kimberley Aspland in the 1500m.

“They have all worked so hard and it's nice to see them reaping the rewards,” their delighted PE teacher Mrs Milton said this week.

“They are all committed and are striving to compete at the 2012 Olympics.”

And in a letter to the talented youngsters, inviting them to the squad training, Kathy Anstey from Mencap Sport said: “The squad is for talented athletes from across the country and it is from here that athletes are nominated for the Great Britain team for international competitions.

“The squad meets three or four times a year, so that we monitor your progress, give you advice on coaching programmes and help you prepare for competitions. It is a great honour to be invited to the national squad, but it also requires dedication and commitment.”

In preparation, the youngsters have been kept busy out-of-school during the summer holidays.

“They have all had a training log to complete over the summer, which required them to do three sessions a week,” Mrs Milton said. “They all took the extra training seriously and I'm delighted with their progress.”

If any local companies are interested in sponsoring the youngsters, contact the Ashley School on 01502 565439 and aks for Mrs Milton.

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