TEENAGE golf sensation Helen Searle is heading to America.
The promising 18-year-old has been awarded a sports scholarship to attend Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, where she will be able to continue improving her game as well as studying for a degree in sports psychology.
Helen, who attended Rishworth School in Ripponden and plays for Fixby and West End, secured her scholarship through Glasgow-based FirstPoint USA, the largest sports scholarship consultants in the world. FirstPoint USA uses an extensive network in the USA and acts as an intermediary between talented athletes and college coaches.
Helen, who plays off a handicap of 2, has already established herself as a talented young golfer – representing the English Women’s Golf Association Under 18 squad and being selected for the Yorkshire Ladies Team in 2008 and 2009.
She said: “I never knew it could be possible – I’m over the moon.
“It’s great to see my hard work and training over the past few years finally paying off.
“I’ve just got to be patient, but at least now I'm a step closer to my ultimate goal! I now have an opportunity to balance my academic work and pursue my golfing dream at the same time. I count myself one very lucky girl!”
Nicole Montoya, of FirstPoint USA, said: “We wish Helen all the best in her new career.
“American colleges are keen to attract the very best sporting talent from across the world.
“Our experience and long-standing relationships with over 2,500 colleges from Hawaii to New York lets us provide the very best advice to any young athlete who has aspirations of living, studying and training in the US.”
On average, the National Collegiate Athletic Association offers 126,000 sports scholarships every year worth a total of $1bn.
About 8,500 UK students head to the US every year to study as part of the country’s extensive scholarship programme.
Scholarships are regularly awarded to students with skills in football, tennis, golf and athletics as well as swimming, hockey and ten-pin bowling.
The aim is to provide talented amateur sportsmen and women with an opportunity to pursue both an academic and athletic career simultaneously.