HEATHER CUBBAGE is relishing the task ahead as she aims to continue her superb progress after an amazing season.
The City of Portsmouth athlete is ranked number one in the United Kingdom in the under-17 discus and smashed her personal best with a great throw of 46.14m at the Portsmouth Throws Festival.
This year she has won the prestigious English Schools title, the Schools’ International title and took gold in the All-England (AAA) Championships and the South of England Championships as well as winning the Loughborough Schools Games.
She has also been crowned Hampshire champion, inter-counties age group and senior champion and Hampshire Schools champion.
Support from her coaching team of Helen Bloomfield and Graham Arnold has seen her keep the faith during some difficult times, particularly with the lack of training facilities in the city after the problems with the floodlights at the Mountbatten Centre and a condemned throwing cage.
Fortunately she resolved to continue with athletics and her dedication and determination has seen her flying high, even missing her school prom to compete in the prestigious English Schools’ Championships.
She said: ‘This season for me has been incredible. I never believed I would achieve what I did but I was determined to give it my best shot.
‘Despite this season being so good, in comparison to what I want to achieve it has been minor and I am determined to proceed onto bigger and better opportunities.
‘I don’t think I would still be in the sport if it wasn’t for my amazing coaches Helen and Graham Arnold as they believed in me when nobody else did and gave me the chance to experience moments I didn’t think I would ever experience.
‘They have been more than coaches and have been with me through some tough times.’
As well as being so dominant in the discus, the City of Portsmouth star is also ranked number two in the club in her age group for shot put with 13.23m and is leading the hammer with a throw of 51.84m, just ahead of her talented training partner Cerys Thomas.
A Great Britain vest is now the big goal for the City of Portsmouth talent.
Her progress has been helped by backing from 24/7 Fitness Fareham gym and the faith of her supporters.
She added: ‘The team of people I have around me is so supportive and I am truly blessed to have such a dedicated support network that covers all areas of my training.
‘I would also like to thank 24/7 Fitness who have sponsored me with unlimited use of their facilities.
‘This has really helped me to improve my strength which I can then translate into my throwing.
‘I am excited to continue working with them this winter.
‘Next year my main aim is to compete for Great Britain at the European Under 18 Championships.’