A TEENAGER is proving herself to be one of the best young athletes in the UK – and now she hopes to show off her skills on the world stage.
Danielle Bentley, from Ellesmere Port, has qualified for the World School Games in Qatar in December after winning silver medals at two of the biggest meetings on the domestic schools athletics calendar.
But the javelin ace, whose talent was honed at West Cheshire AC, fears she will not be able to take her place in the England squad bound for the Middle East because of a lack of funding.
Danielle’s mum Jeanette said: “She was really excited when she got the call to say she had qualified for the Games, but she phoned me up a couple of hours later to say there will only be enough funding for six athletes to go.
“She doesn’t think she will be one of those six because they tend to go for track runners. So now we’ve got to find a way of funding it ourselves and, to do that, we really need sponsorship.”
Danielle would fancy her chances in Qatar given her form this season.
The 16-year-old, who left West Cheshire three years ago for Sale Harriers, finished second in the Sky-televised English Schools’ Track and Field Championships in Sheffield and then replicated that at the SIAB Schools International in Antrim.
The Whitby High School student was beaten only by her team-mate and rival Freya Jones in Northern Ireland but her performance helped England win girls and overall team gold.
Jeanette said: “Her dream is to be a professional but she’s backing that up by doing well at school. She wants to be a sports physiotherapist if she doesn’t make it at the highest level of javelin.”
Former Brookside Primary School pupil Danielle, who trains at the Stanney Oaks track with coach Dorel Greta, took up javelin four years ago.
“She started at West Cheshire when she was eight and used to be a long-distance runner before she stopped doing that when she developed sports-related asthma,” added Jeanette, whose multi-talented daughter also plays football for Vicars Cross Dynamos, whom she joined from Ellesmere Port. “I’m so proud of her.”
If you can sponsor Danielle, contact the Pioneer sportsdesk on 01244 606410 or her uncle Keith on 0151 355 4283.