Olympics trip could be no mere boast for Suzi

THE Beijing Olympics came early for one teenager last week when she was put through her paces by Olympian Dame Kelly Holmes. Huntingdon runner Suzi Boast, 17, received Chinese lessons and was forced to survive on a diet of rice and noodles at the nine-day

THE Beijing Olympics came early for one teenager last week when she was put through her paces by Olympian Dame Kelly Holmes.

Huntingdon runner Suzi Boast, 17, received Chinese lessons and was forced to survive on a diet of rice and noodles at the nine-day get-together - but she could be experiencing the real thing next year.

Double Olympic gold medallist Holmes will be cherry-picking a handful of girls from her 'On Camp with Kelly' initiative for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to witness their heroes in action and sample life at a major Championships in the 2008 Games.

And the Longsands College student staked her claim for a seat on the plane after impressing former army sergeant Holmes at the Loughborough training camp.


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Holmes said: "Suzi has done really well and I have been very impressed by her attitude and her willingness to get involved with everything.

"We tried to teach Suzi what it takes to be a world-class athlete - the good and bad parts - and every aspect of preparing for a major event.

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"In my career I experienced every scenario under the sun so I am trying to get into the young athletes' heads things can go wrong.

"For example, we hid their luggage to show what it is like if an airline loses your stuff.

"They have had to survive on what was in their hand luggage and although Suzi might not appreciate it at the time, one day she may thank me for it."

The multi-talented Boast, who also competes in the high jump and the shot putt, has already bagged a credible third-placed finish in the under-20 1500m English Indoor Championships.

And Boast, who runs for the Bedford and County Athletics Club, says that she reaped the benefits after attending her first 'On Camp with Kelly' scheme.

"Having Kelly around is like having a box of knowledge on athletics which you can dip into anytime you want," said Boast.

"The camp has been a fantastic opportunity and I know not many people have the opportunity to speak to someone who has experienced as much as Kelly Holmes.

"This camp has filled me with an abundance of new-found confidence and I now know I can compete at a major event and not freeze. This opportunity so far has been a dream comes true."

INFORMATION: Norwich Union is working with Kelly Holmes to prepare future champions through her successful mentoring scheme, 'On Camp with Kelly'. For more visit www.doublegold.co.uk/ocwk.

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