AN athlete from Little Sutton has followed in the footsteps of Olympic stars Kelly Sotherton and Mark-Lewis Francis by winning a medal at a major national competition.
Kelly Baker won silver at the Aviva Sportshall UK Final in Birmingham.
The 14-year-old West Cheshire AC member claimed her medal in the under 15s shot put event after recording a distance of 10.97m in the West Midlands.
Kelly, who attends Bishops’ High School in Chester, also competed in the two-lap sprint race and the vertical jump event at the LG Arena but was unable to add to her medal collection.
But after writing her name into the Sportshall history books alongside the likes of Sotherton and Lewis-Francis, who tasted success in 1992 and 1998 respectively, Kelly was more than satisfied with her day’s work.
The former Little Sutton Primary School pupil said: “I am happy that I have won silver but I am very disappointed with my final distance.
“My personal best is 11.62m and I was some way off that but I did my best and that is all I can ask for.
“This is a great competition and it is really good experience so hopefully I can learn from it.”
The Aviva Sportshall UK Finals are, in effect, a giant national sports day.
They are recognised as a first stepping-stone along the way to becoming a senior international track and field star.
Lewis-Francis, Sotherton, Will Sharman, Nathan Douglas and Dame Kelly Holmes all won medals at the event when they were schoolchildren.
Kelly wasn’t alone in climbing the podium in Birmingham, with Frodsham teenager David Hayes claiming bronze in the shot put event with a personal best of 12.65m.
The 15-year-old Helsby High School pupil also competed in the two-lap sprint race and the standing triple jump event but was unable to add to his bronze medal.
Aviva Sportshall forms part of the Aviva UKA Academy giving children aged nine to 15 a competitive and fun introduction to athletics, with the hope of unearthing future champions along the way.
To find out more about athletics, visit aviva.co.uk/athletics.