A Melton teenager will take another step on the path to her Olympic dream this summer when she represents Britain at the World Junior Softball Championships.
Saskia Davies has been playing the sport for only two years, but will appear in her first global tournament with the GB junior women’s squad in Florida this July.
The team are on a high, having claimed the Junior European Championships crown last year.
And the 16-year-old, a pupil at Melton Vale Post-16 Centre, believes the team has enough to secure a top eight finish against the best young softball players on the planet.
“I’ve never been to America before so I’m super excited,” she said.
“I’ll meet a lot more new people because softball is a small sport and there are only people from London who play, but there will be people from America in this team.
“It’s a GB team, but there are British people who live in America who have been picked for the team, so I’m excited to meet them.
“We’re going to aim to finish in the top 10, but our coach hopes we’re going to finish in the top eight.
“Winning the European Championships last year was crazy – it was major.”
Davies, a former Leicester Blue Socks player, is being helped by The Nottingham Building Society who are giving each athlete £750 which teams top up with fundraising throughout the year.
The company has already donated £190,000 to SportsAid to help athletes buy equipment, travel to competitions and receive elite training, and are now helping athletes on the path to Pyeongchang or Tokyo.
And Davies, whose dream is to represent Team GB at the Olympics, added the funding has given her extra incentive.
“I’m very grateful to SportsAid and The Nottingham Building Society for their support,” she said.
“It’s quite a motivational boost because I have only been playing softball for two years, so to be selected shows that I can do this.”
* Nottingham Building Society and Harrison Murray teamed up with SportsAid in 2013 to help future sports stars get their time to shine. Visit thenottingham.com to find out more.