Katie (15) from Kingswood, Maidstone, represents the county at U16 hockey and U17 cricket and shines at every sporting activity she tries her hand at – including running, football and javelin.
When she was applying for a sports scholarship at the school, she was asked to bowl a ball in the cricket nets – something she had never done before, having not played cricket at that stage. Today, she plays for the Kent U17 cricket team and also for Leeds and Broomfield Cricket Club where her batting average in 2012 was 108.
Katie’s attitude has now won her a place in the lottery-funded Girls4Gold programme, designed to select young women with motivation and determination to succeed.
The sporting teenager has been chosen as one of 464 girls who could be trained to compete in the 2020 Olympics … not in any of her regular sports, but in canoeing!
However, if she fails to make the grade in a rigorous selection process, which will see the contenders finally whittled down to 10, there is still a chance she could be offered a place on a training programme for one of many other sports.
Katie was invited to attend the Girls4Gold assessment at the Olympic Park after seeing it advertised on the England hockey website. The first hurdle was taking part in a series of physiological tests, measuring strength, speed and aerobic fitness, in front of assessors who included sports scientists and coaches.
Katie’s mum Karen said: “It’s a massive achievement to be selected to attend the assessment and to be selected from thousands of applicants. She was so excited to be able to spend the day at the Olympic Park being put through her paces, as well as having the chance to meet some 2012 Olympic athletes.”
Katie met rowing gold medallist Katherine Grainger and canoeist Angela Hannah, who came fifth in the 2012 Olympics, at the event as both were among a number of inspirational athletes invited along to encourage the newcomers.
Katie said: “This is a huge opportunity for me and I am tremendously excited. Even if I am not selected for canoe training, it opens the doors to opportunities in a whole host of other disciplines.”
The selection process is lottery-funded and being organised by UK Sport and the English Institute of Sport.