Hebburn athlete chosen to represent Great Britain at World University Games 2019 in Italy
A South Tyneside athlete is going for gold after being chosen to represent Great Britain in a prestigious international competition in July.
Lucy Turner, 22, hopes it will be third time lucky in national colours when she takes part in the World University Games 2019 in Italy.
But the heptathlete, of Rede Avenue, Hebburn, must first overcome an off-track challenge – raising the £1,750 she needs for the self-funding trip by Monday.
That is the deadline given by Team GB bosses to competitors to pay their own travel and accommodation expenses.
Northumbria University student Lucy has already competed twice for her country but has yet to make the podium despite showing outstanding promise.
She now believes she is coming into peak form and could secure at least at top eight place - and also set a new personal best.
Lucy, who has just completed a three-year Applied Sport and Nutrition degree, is one of just 22 GB athletes taking part in the biennial sporting showcase.
She said: “I only found out last Tuesday that I had been selected and I then had to prove my form at the English Championships for multi events competition in Bedford.
“I’m not sure why they give you so little time to raise the money, but I’ve started a fundraising page and have raised £445 in just two days.
“I’m hoping to do a raffle, and have also asked the university for help but I’m not on a scholarship. I’m happy to borrow the money if I have to.
“I am 100 per cent sure that I’ll do well in this competition and that I’ll also bag a personal best – I’m in good form.”
Lucy represented Great Britain at the European Combined Events Cup in Tallin, Estonia, in July 2017, and at the International Combined Events Match in Cardiff, in January.
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Her selection was the culmination of a love of athletics she discovered during a school sports camp at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow, at the age of 11.
Two years later, she began being coached by Sam Stanislaus, a relationship that continues and which she credits as supporting her current success.
Her best discipline in the seven-event heptathlon is the 100m hurdles, for which she has clocked 13.72 seconds.
She also has a top points tally of 5400, a figure she hopes to raise to 5800 in the Naples competition, which would make her the country’s number three heptathlete.
Ultimately, her goal is to compete at the Olympics, an ambition she can now target by training full-time due to her studies coming to an end.
Lucy has previously been able to train just 12 hours over six-days-a-week due to her study commitments.
If her training goes to plan, she may target a place at the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020 or Paris in 2024, or the 2020 Commonwealth Games.
Lucy added: “It was always my ambition to represent Great Britain, and the Olympics has always been my goal. I think I’m capable of getting there, I’ve many more years.
“If I can get to 5800 points then I will make a decision whether to go for the next Olympics or wait for the Commonwealth Games.”
The World University Games, from July 3 to July 14, consists of 10 compulsory sports with 13 compulsory disciplines and up to three optional sports.
The event is the second largest multisport games in the world after the Olympics, with over 10,000 participants from around 150 countries taking part.
Donations to support Lucy can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/xxrzbw-world-university-games?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=fb_co_shareflow_m