ATHLETICS: HEPTATHLETE Katie Stainton has set her sights high following her selection to represent England at the Commonwealth Games next year.
The 22-year-old will jet off to Australia’s Gold Coast to take on some of the world’s top heptathletes.
Based in Knowle, Stainton trains at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham under the watchful eye of Kelly Sotherton – who won gold at the same competition in 2006.
Speaking to The Observer, Stainton revealed Sotherton’s ‘harsh’ coaching technique has worked wonders – and she’s pleased with the progress she’s made.
She said: “Kelly is a good coach to have.
“She’s been there and done that. Some athletes react differently to disciplined coaches, I personally prefer it.
“With where I am now and the progress I’ve made I think I can push for medals. I want to go and enjoy the competition though.”
The former Arden Academy student received her surprise call-up following another successful year on track.
She finished 3rd in the UK rankings for heptathlon and appeared for Team GB in the Under 23 European Championships in Poland in July.
Katie also competed in two IAAF Combined Events World Challenge meetings in Italy and Czech Republic.
In preparation for the games, Stainton will now train six-days a week. This includes a pre-games training camp in Brisbane.
“I was surprised to receive a call-up,” admitted Stainton.
“Team GB are taking a limited team, I assumed I wasn’t part of their plans.
“Everything is now starting to come together. I’ve worked hard to reach this level.
“I push myself and it’s now paying dividends.
“Over the winter I’ll be doing lots of running and technique work.
“They’ll be no nights out that’s for sure.”
Competing at such a high level comes at a price, and Stainton is hoping to attract plenty of local support to help fund her dream trip to Australia.
Without funding from British Athletics, she relies on support from David Lloyd Solihull South to complete recovery and pool-based sessions close to home.
Those interested in supporting Katie’s journey should contact [email protected] for further information.