RUNNER Emma Leigh-Heigh-way is eager to land a sponsorship deal after reaching the final of the English Schools Championships last weekend.
The 18-year-old from Ellesmere Port qualified for the 1500m final in Gateshead as the third fastest qualifier in the first of two heats, but finished the final in last place.
'All the other nine competitors in the final were sponsored. I would have performed a lot better if I received sponsorship money,' she said.
'It puts me at a disadvantage. A lot of the girls get funds from UK Athletics and their local councils. The winner of the final was funded by Nike.'
Emma competes with Sale Harriers and believes that sponsorship funds will allow her to train more frequently.
'If I was sponsored I would be able to travel to Manchester five times a week like some of Sale's other athletes.
'At the moment I can only afford to train three times a week.'
The extra money will also enable her to afford better quality equipment to improve her performance.
'A lot of the girls have expensive spikes which I cannot afford which doesn't help either,' she said.
Emma is hoping to put her disappointing performance in the final behind her and is looking forward to her next competition coming up in August.
'I didn't perform too well but I am looking to bounce back in August in the North of England 3k Championships at Trafford'.