TALENTED triathlete Isobel Dewar-Fowler has been picked to represent Great Britain in South Africa.
The 11-year-old from Scholes, near Holmfirth – who hopes to be an Olympic medalist one day – is part of the team to contest the World Biathle Championships in the first week of November.
Soon to start at Holmfirth High School, Isobel was picked after a tremendous fourth-place finish in the European Biathle Championships staged by the Modern Pentathlon Association at Salford Dock.
The top five in that event were selected for the 12,000-mile round trip to the southern hemisphere, where their event consists of a 500m run, followed by a 50m swim and then another 500m run.
A Holmfirth Harriers athlete who swims for Stocksbridge, Isobel is now training hard and hoping to attract some extra sponsorship to add to that from Up & Running in Huddersfield to help her make the trip.
“It’s quite scary to see the Great Britain badge when you receive the tracksuit, but I’m really excited about being selected to go to South Africa,” said Isobel, who has represented Yorkshire at triathlon along with sister Vicky (16) and brother Angus (14).
“This will be the first time I’ve ever competed abroad and it’s a long way to go to Cape Town, but I’m training hard and I want to finish first in the event.
“I didn’t have my best event in Salford, so I know I can improve and I’m now stepping up my training to be sure I’m ready.”
Isobel has not yet received details of where the event will be staged, but it’s thought it will be in the docks side of the city, near the famous Waterfront complex of shops, hotels and restaurants, where the swim will be in the notoriously cold Atlantic.
“I am swimming almost every day and running several times a week,” explained Isobel, who will be competing in the Youth D section of the World Championships for 11 and 12-year-olds.
“At the moment, I don’t really know any of my teammates, even though I spoke to one of the girls after the event at Salford, but I know everyone is really looking forward to competing in South Africa.”
Isobel – whose heroes are swimmers Gregor Tait, Mark Foster and Michael Phelps, plus athlete Dame Kelly Holmes – has a string of race wins to her credit.
She won her age group in the North East Region Schools’ Biathle Championship after taking the Yorkshire Schools’ title, and she then finished fifth in the National Schools’ Championships in Bath.
She has two second places and two victories in the Neiley Races over the last four years, has won numerous competitions in the vest of Holmfirth Harriers and, only recently, was Top Girl in the Rotherham Swimming meet for Stocksbridge (an event in which Borough of Kirklees did really well).
Among a tough training and competition schedule which involves covering more than 3,000 miles a year – parents Trevor and Fiona being the taxi drivers – Isobel attends the Georgie School of Dance.
She has been rehearsing for the Kirklees Move It group who are providing the half-time entertainment at the big England v Wales rugby league international at the Keepmoat Stadium in Doncaster on Friday, October 10. “I’ve been using the dancing as part of my training,” added Isobel, who travelled with her dance school to London last year for the IDTA Showcase at Her Majesty’s Theatre and who was one of the orphans in the Lawrence Batley Theatre production of Annie.
“I will be doing more and more training and I’ve been watching the Olympics closely, which have been fantastic.
“It would be great to compete in the Olympics one day and maybe win a medal. That’s what I’m aiming to do.”
Anyone able to offer sponsorship should call 07766 594995.