AN Alnwick triple jumper is aiming to make great strides in the sport after being hand-picked for a high-profile scheme which supports emerging athletes.
Emma Pringle has been selected for a second stint on the Lloyds TSB Local Heroes initiative and last week enjoyed a day to remember when she attended an Olympic-focused workshop with triple jump legend Jonathan Edwards.
The 19-year-old picked up tips and advice which she hopes will impact on her performances this summer.
And she has also received a £1,000 cash windfall from Lloyds TSB following her reselection to the scheme.
“I learned so much from going to the workshop and it makes me realise that athletics is something that I definitely want to do,” she Pringle, a former Duchess’s Community High School pupil.
“I have got a few competitions lined up in the summer. I would love to go to the European Junior Championships but we will have to see.
“All I want to do is mainly progress and increase my personal best because I have been stuck at a certain level for a while.
“I just want all my training to come together to produce a really good jump and get me to where I want to be in the future – obviously seeing the likes of Jonathan is inspirational and really brings everything home.”
Pringle, who was crowned Junior Female at this year’s Alnwick and District Sports Council annual awards night, was hand-picked as part of 262 up-and-coming athletes across England and Wales to receive funding, plus expert tuition from Edwards, a former Olympic, Commonwealth, world and European champion, who has held the long jump world record since 1995.
And Pringle, a Gateshead Harrier who is studying Natural Sciences at Newcastle University, is hoping to use her reselection as a launch pad for a breakthrough season, admitting that the financial assistance will help ease her travel and training worries in 2011.
“It is a great help being on the scheme and the £1,000 will go towards transport because not many of my competitions are in the North East.
“So it will go towards travel and new kit and it is a massive help.
“It is nice to be recognised for doing well in something that I really enjoy doing and especially the support we get from the workshops – I have just been a sponge and tried to learn everything.
“It is all about progression this year I think.
“By the end of the last season my jumps started to come out but early season it wasn’t so good so I managed to improve slightly but this year I want to be more consistent and improve throughout.
“I pretty much know all the jumpers in the country and I compete over juniors and seniors and I just take part in everything to get the most experience possible.”
Lloyds TSB Local Heroes, in partnership with SportsAid, provides support and funding to 344 emerging athletes all the way to London 2012 and beyond.
Follow the future stars of TeamGB and ParalympicsGB at www.lloydstsb.com/localheroes