By Jack Travers, Sportsbeat
Longsight's Emily Rawlins has set her sights on making a mark at this year’s INAS-FID Global Games after receiving a £1,000 cash windfall from the Lloyds TSB Local Heroes initiative.
For the second year running Rawlins was handpicked as part of 262 up-and-coming athletes across England and Wales to receive funding, plus expert tuition from Olympic triple jump champion Jonathan Edwards.
The 19-year-old underlined her growing potential last year claiming hammer bronze at the INAS-FID European Championships and has since embarked on her first full year as a senior this season.
And Rawlins, who also throws the shot put and discus, admits the support couldn’t be better timed as she looks for further international recognition at September’s INAS-FID Global Games in Italy.
“This is my first year as a senior so it’s a big step up. I won bronze at the Europeans last year and I also threw personal bests in the shot and discus so that has given me confidence,” said Rawlins – who throws for Sale Harriers.
“Since then I’ve just been training and my target for this year is the Global Games which are taking place in Liguria, Italy at the very end of September.
“The Global Games is an event which linked to the idea of Paralympic inclusion. The fact the event is so late in the season has meant I’ve had to start my season a bit later.
“And to get the recognition again before all that is really good. It really helped last year and the support will really benefit me this season.”
Rawlins attended the launch of the Lloyds TSB-funded scheme at Loughborough University last week where, as well as Edwards, she rubbed shoulders with Olympic silver medal-winning diver Leon Taylor.
And Edwards, a former world, European and Commonwealth champion, believes Rawlins’ reselection on the scheme will see her deliver on her impressive potential.
“The concept of the scheme is fantastic because it’s helping people out at a really crucial stage of their athletic career when there is not a lot of funding or support,” said Edwards.
“You get the financial help which is crucial but there is also the practical side and hearing about the reality of what a lifetime in sport can be like. Being at the workshops and seeing the athletes was incredible.
“They were really exciting to meet because they are really passionate about what they do and you do just think that people like Emily are the talented future without doubt.”
Lloyds TSB Local Heroes, in partnership with SportsAid, provides support and funding to 344 emerging athletes on their journey to London 2012 and beyond. Follow the future stars of TeamGB and ParalympicsGB at: www.lloydstsb.com/localheroes
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