The faith shown by British Athletics will inspire Serena Vincent to aim for even greater things after she was selected for the Olympic Futures Programme.
It has been an incredible 2018 for the City of Portsmouth athlete who has won every under-17 county and national title.
The 16-year-old is the all-time British under-18 shot put record holder with her best throw of 16.84m in the European Championships in Hungary in July.
It was part of a stunning series from her in the competition.
Now all her hard work has been rewarded with selection among 26 outstanding young athletes named on the 2018-19 Olympic Futures Programme.
It is supported by Nike and runs from December 1, 2018 to November 30, 2019.
Being on the programme means she will get support to focus on her Individual Athlete Plan (IAP) and be able to attend camps and experiences designed to provide athletes with the opportunities to develop the skills and abilities required for senior international success.
She said: ‘I am really excited. When I got the phone call it was a really nice surprise, I wasn’t expecting it to be about that.
‘It’s nice to know British Athletics have the faith and belief in me.
‘This will help me improve. The support that comes with it is so important. I’m excited to see where I can go now.’
The hard work has paid off for Serena along with the great support of her coaches Bronwin Carter and her father Andrew Vincent, as well her City of Portsmouth training group and her family.
Now she can look forward to some fantastic experiences ahead and will be competing at under-20 level next year.
First she has plenty of reason to celebrate with her 17th birthday on December 5 and then Christmas.
She added: ‘This selection has capped off a great year for me.
‘I’m sure I will have a bit of a celebration. I’ve got my birthday on December 5 and then it’s Christmas.
‘I love December. I will have a little bit of a rest around Christmas and reflect on what I have done this year.
‘This recognition from British Athletics shows the things I have been doing with my coaches have been right and I need to stick to doing that.
‘I’m looking forward to making the most of the opportunity to see where I can go with it.’
Athletes and coaches invited onto the programme will be assigned a British Athletics point of contact, whose role is to understand where the programme can support and add value, and identify conditions necessary to make progress throughout the year.