WITH the World Cup in full flow, other British sportsmen and women have their eyes on the next big event of the summer – the Commonwealth Games in Scotland.
The clock is counting down with less than a month to go and today, we feature all the competitors with Bolton links who will be flying the flag for the town at the event.
For 14-year-old Canon Slade pupil Niamh Robinson, her Geography lessons have come in handy as she looks forward to representing the Isle of Man at the competition.
She will be one of the youngest people in the pool but she is not going to be fazed by going up against the likes of top British swimmer Hannah Miley and an England team including Fran Halsall and Elizabeth Simmonds.
Fingers crossed Niamh will follow in the footsteps of her mum Sue Brown, who also represented the Isle of Man at the Commonwealth Games back in 1990.
But despite achieving most of the qualifying times set by the Isle of Man officials there were still question marks over whether she would be able to do it because of her young age.
After getting confirmation of her selection recently Niamh is really excited about the event.
Sue said: “It is all just becoming more of a reality now.
“She is going to be going over to the Isle of Man to get her team kit. She has an A3 sheet, planned out from when she was first told, which counts down the days to the Games, and she is just crossing off the days.
“It is all still a big shock for her since it all came out.
“We met with the officials from the Isle of Man to see if it would be possible and they came back to say it was okay.
“From then she qualified five times for events and each time faster.”
Niamh has competed for Canon Slade School in a number of other sports – netball, cross-country, athletics and biathlon.
In the biathlon, Niamh reached the finals of the pentathlon GB schools event, qualifying in 45th position and finishing a creditable 29th overall.
Her story would not have been made possible without the help of officials at Canon Slade.
Sue said: “They have been fantastic and their support is second to none.
“She is going to be in a competition this week in Manchester then off to the Isle of Man for team-building and also competing over there.
“The school has been great and offered to give extra lessons so she can catch up.
“They are obviously very proud of what she has done and the headmaster Canon Williamson was delighted when she flew back from a competition and got dressed ready for school at 8.30am in the morning while driving up from Liverpool.
“She was determined to show everyone her medals and Canon Williamson was speechless by her commitment.”
As you would expect PE is her favourite subject at school but also enjoys maths.
She will be hoping all her training and hard work over the past few months will add up to success and making it through the heats to some of the semi-finals. Niamh is sponsored by Blackburn firm TP Properties.