Pole vault may not seem the obvious starting point for an athlete but for Hucknall’s Felicia Miloro there could not be anything better for her to love.
Aged just 17 there is a long way to go in her athletics career but she has already been able to revel in some success, including the chance to represent her country.
Not only that, Miloro found herself atop the podium in last year’s English Schools’ Championship – a medal she knows was a mental and physical test.
“I used to do the high jump but I wasn’t tall enough so thought ‘let’s just cheat and use a stick instead’,” she said.
“Winning the English Schools is the highlight for me so far. Now I’m trying to get into the U18s European Championships which are later this year in Hungary, that’s the big aim for me.
“In the first year of the schools’ competition I only just got the qualifying mark, so when I got to the competition, I wasn’t the best there. I was so nervous I just knocked off every height and didn’t even register a score.”
From that disappointment came a desire to not let history repeat itself for Miloro, a new strength in character coming the way of the Sutton-in-Ashfield Harriers athlete.
But now her cause will also be aided by The Nottingham Building Society, who are teaming up with charity SportsAid to support 50 local athletes with their ‘time to shine’, each receiving £750 of funding.
Having already donated £240,000 to SportsAid to help athletes buy equipment, travel to competitions and receive the training they need to be the best they can, The Nottingham Building Society are now also helping athletes on the path to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, and beyond.
For Miloro, that also included a trip to Nottingham Racecourse to take part in a workshop, joined by world champion short track speed skater Elise Christie and Olympic champion canoeist Etienne Stott as mentors.
“It’s really important to have people like the Nottingham Building Society supporting you, particularly when you’re developing into a sport,” she added.
“It’s really helpful because the equipment is really expensive, so is the transport for getting to competitions and hotels.
“The workshop was really useful, I learnt how to deal with stuff relating to the media and nutrition so it was quite important for me.”
Nottingham Building Society and Harrison Murray teamed up with SportsAid in 2013 to help future sports stars get their time to shine.
Go online and visit www.thenottingham.com to find out more.