Norwich teenager to represent team GB at international athletics event
PUBLISHED: 07:00 31 January 2019 | UPDATED: 14:19 31 January 2019
A teenager from Norwich has been selected to represent Great Britain on the athletics world stage.
Serena Grace is a busy teenager, balancing her GCSE studies with training three times a week and as many gym sessions, the Notre Dame Roman Catholic High School pupil barely stands still.
But the 16-year-old’s dedication is paying off, as, after being nominated by her school Serena has been selected to represent team GB at the International Federation for Catholic Schools (FISEC) Games in Bucharest later this year.
No stranger to competitions the teenager has been running competitively for a number of years, competing both locally and nationally, winning regional and county titles but the 2019 FISEC games will be her first taste of the international stage.
The 16-year-old said she couldn’t believe it when she found out she had been selected: “I was ecstatic and overwhelmed, I couldn’t believe what I had seen.
“I felt so privileged and grateful for this opportunity, She said.
Vanessa Butcher, Serena’s mum said she and Serena’s family were immensely proud of her success: “I’m over the moon, so proud of her, [the FISEC] games are just another step towards her goal to be in the main GB team. This is a stepping stone for her.
“The whole family are backing her and they are just excited to see where this goes but it’s because she puts in so much.
“She is very driven, focussed and determined,” she said.
Mrs Butcher said her daughter’s interest in athletics started at a young age, she said: “Serena’s interest started at primary school, when she was about six or seven she was winning her sports days and her PE teacher suggested I find a club for her.
“She’s been competing and running ever since,” she said.
One of two world competitions for school based sport, the FISEC games are recognised by the International Olympic Committee and follow international rules.
Over the years the event has given hundreds of young people the opportunity to compete on the world stage for the first time, this year the 71st FISEC games will take place in Bucharest, Romania on 15-21 July.