Newbiggin teenager's hammer throw career gets financial boost from charitable foundation

A hammer-throwing teenager from Newbiggin is getting financial help from a charitable foundation to help her achieve her potential.
Hammer thrower Kaitlyn Waddell is getting financial support from a charitable foundation.Hammer thrower Kaitlyn Waddell is getting financial support from a charitable foundation.
Hammer thrower Kaitlyn Waddell is getting financial support from a charitable foundation.

Kaitlyn Waddell has been given An Inspiration Grant of £1,000 from The Bernicia Foundation to help her and her family with the costs involved in her sport, including hotel stays, entry fees, event tickets and fuel costs.

Kaitlyn has her sights firmly set becoming the number one under-20 woman hammer thrower in the UK.

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Hammer throwing, which has seen a resurgence in the UK in recent years since Sophie Hitchon’s historic bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics, became a passion for Kaitlyn in 2019 when, after a year doing hurdles and sprints, her coach suggested she try it.

“I tried it and realised I wasn’t bad at it,” said Kaitlyn. “With lots of practice and hard work, training sessions in all weathers, I became good enough to compete for Northumberland and at a national level.”

Kaitlyn now trains seven times per week.

Not only will The Bernicia Foundation grant allow Kaitlyn to continue to make the most of the competitive opportunities that come her way, but it will also contribute to the extensive new kit requirements that come with competing at an elite level.

Kaitlyn’s mum, Sarah, said: “Both Kaitlyn’s step-dad and I work, but without grants like this, it would not be possible to take her to all of these events.

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“It would mean that she misses out on amazing opportunities and experiences.”

“Grants like this one from The Bernicia Foundation mean Kaitlyn has been able to continue seeing so much of the country whilst following her passion and testing herself against other elite teenagers.”

Kaitlyn is coached by David Thomas at North Shields Polytechnic Athletics Club and he has helped her place in the top eight of her age group in local, regional and national competitions for the last three years.

“He wants all of his athletes to succeed and be the best they can be, and he dedicates a lot of his spare time to training me and others,” said Kaitlyn

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Jenny Allinson, director of corporate governance at The Bernicia Foundation, added: “I am delighted we have been able to support Kaitlyn and her family in attending more competitions nationwide. It is inspirational to hear how well Kaitlyn is doing.”

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