Hucknall pole vault star Felicia Miloro ready to raise the bar

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Hucknall pole vaulting star Felicia Miloro is setting the bar high as she steels herself to compete at under-20 level for the first time in 2019.

The 17-year-old rounded off her last year as a junior in sublime fashion, pulling on the Great Britain vest for the first time at the Manchester International in August.

The Loughborough College student knows she has the resilience to cope with stepping up to senior level, having dealt with the drama of being dropped for the U18 European Championship.

“It’s been an eventful year for me with lots of ups and downs,” said the teenager, who trains at Sutton-in-Ashfield Harriers and Notts Athletic Club.

“I qualified for the European Championships but didn’t get to go because of numbers, the team could only be a certain size.

“I learned from it and worked harder, getting to represent Britain later in the summer.

“At the time it was really tough because I’d not been that well-placed in the sport and when you qualify, you get excited. It was like a lead balloon when I heard.

“I got really low and it started to affect training, but I had no choice but to pick myself up and get back on it.”

Crossing the 4.10m and 4.15m barrier is the next goal for Miloro, whose next staging posts are the British Championships and the European U20 Athletics Championships in Boras, Sweden.

Her cause is also being helped by The Nottingham Building Society, who are teaming up with charity SportsAid to support 50 local athletes as they try to find their ‘time to shine’, with each receiving £750 of funding.

Miloro was one of 15 SportsAid-supported stars to attend a fun-filled Christmas celebration at The Nottingham’s city HQ, helping celebrate and bring the ongoing partnership to life.

Four top ice hockey aces from The Nottingham Panthers were in attendance to offer their advice to the upcoming athletes, while among activities was a Kit Challenge and Wheel of Fortune with prizes.

Miloro was enthused by getting to share experiences with athletes from different sports and continues to find SportsAid’s support of incalculable value.

“This is my first year working with SportsAid and it’s been brilliant,” she said.

“At the event we spoke to performance experts and it was great to have the Panthers players there as well. Topics like nutrition and time management are important and it’s good to get advice.

“Hearing from a professional athlete about controlling your emotion is only going to be valuable for everyone in the future.

“SportsAid funding has helped me buy new poles and buy a bag to keep my poles dry, which is so vital during competition time.”

Nottingham Building Society and Harrison Murray teamed up with SportsAid in 2013 to help future sports stars get their time to shine. Visit thenottingham.com to find out more.