HOLLY ROBERTS is on track for athletics success after securing a US scholarship and winning a coveted medal at a national sports competition.
The Coleg Cambria student (pictured far left) achieved bronze in the cross-country event at the AoC Sport National Championships in Nottingham.
Representing Welsh Colleges, Holly admits she was “shocked” to finish in the top three as her specialist event is the 800m.
As she prepares to complete the final year of her A levels at Deeside Sixth Form Centre, the Prestatyn speedster says the performance has given her a boost ahead of a four-year scholarship at McNeese State University in Louisiana, which begins this summer.
The University counts NBA basketball Hall of Famer Joe Dumars, and Pulitzer Prize winner Adam Johnson among its alumni, and the 18 year-old is thrilled to be joining their ranks.
“I am incredibly excited to be going over to America on a scholarship, it’s a dream come true,” said Holly, whose athletics hero is British middle-distance star, Laura Muir.
“I have been in good form but to come third in such a competitive cross-country race was a shock.
“I hadn’t trained specifically for this event and there were 65 runners in the field, so I’m obviously delighted.”
She added: “It’s given me a huge confidence boost ahead of my scholarship, but the priority now is completing and passing my A levels.
“I’m studying Law, Psychology and PE, so there’s plenty of work still ahead, but I’ll get there.”
Students from Wales battled against athletes from England and Northern Ireland during the three-day AoC event, hosted by the University of Nottingham.
Around 1700 participants competed in 13 different sports, including squash, hockey, basketball and cricket.
AoC Sport Managing Director Marcus Kingwell said: “More than 130 colleges took part in this year’s National Championships, which proves just how much they value sport and recognise its positive impact on students.
“Sport is a great way to engage directly with young people. It’s been a privilege to help over 1700 students enjoy the excitement, teamwork and friendship that comes from being part of this amazing sporting event.”
Holly, who also runs for Wales and Colwyn Bay Athletics Club, agreed and said: “It was an amazing experience, and I’m so pleased to have come away for a medal for Coleg Cambria.”
Sally Jones, Deputy Director of Sport and Uniformed Public Services at Cambria, added: “I am so proud of Holly, she was the only student to represent us at the AoC Sport National Championships, so this is a huge achievement.
“I am looking forward to developing our Elite Sports programme even further in 2019/20 to further support athletes like Holly, as well as our sports teams, so we build on this success.”