Swimming: Namphon has her mind set on a podium finish at Schools Games

Subject:  Subject: Namphon Steele
Subject: Subject: Namphon Steele

Dungannon T47 sprinter Namphon Steele is determined that a podium spot at UK School Games will not pass her by this time around.

Steele, who competes for LaganValley, has been an ever present at the UK School Games since choosing athletics over swimming two years ago.

However, the 16-year-old is still waiting to climb the podium as although she crossed the 100m line first last time out in 14.13 seconds, the points system meant she had to settle for fourth spot.

And the Royal School Dungannon pupil is eager to use that near miss as fuel to fire her towards a medal when this year’s UK School Games arrives in Manchester in early September.

“Last year was a good year, the biggest achievement was going to the UK School Games,” she said.

“I was disappointed to miss out on the podium but hopefully I can use that experience to help me this year.

“I actually won my race, but the way the points system works means that I missed out and that was quite difficult to take as I trained really well.

“I’ve been going to the UK School Games since 2010, but the last two have been purely for athletics, previously I was a swimmer.

“The main aim for 2015 is the UK School Games in September and hopefully this year I can qualify and compete. I’m confident I can use last year’s experience to go one better.”

Despite narrowly missing out on a UK School Games medal, last year was still as she claimed 100m and 200m gold at the England Under-17 Disabled Championships.

These feats saw her reselected for the SSE Next Generation programme, a scheme that has identified 100 young athletes with Olympic and Commonwealth Games potential.

As part of the programme Steele will receive funding and mentoring from sporting legends such as six-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy.

“It feels great to be accepted onto the scheme again,” she added,

“SSE has really helped with my travel and the ability to compete at the different events, which helps with my development.”