ELLIE GOODING was left jumping for joy after being given the prestigious honour of a call-up to represent England in the pole vault.
The 15-year-old Folkestone School for Girls pupil has only been doing the event a year but she managed to come home in second at the English School Games Championships, narrowly missing out on victory by the skin of her teeth.
She broke her personal best at the championships, which were held up in Gateshead, by 10cm with a giant leap of 3.5m. That clearance left her level at the top of the standings but the young starlet cruelly missed out on countback having got over on her third attempt.
Ellie, who’s a member of Ashford AC, was representing Kent against 16 other girls from around the country and her second-placed finish means she’s now in line to turn out for England.
Proud dad Danny said: “Ellie’s done magnificently but it was just a shame that in the end she missed out on countback.
“The other girl had been doing the pole vault for three years so for Ellie to be up there with her is great.”
Ellie is now set to compete against the best in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales at the International Schools Championships at the Julie Rose Stadium next Friday.
The youngster comes from a sporty family – Danny used to play football for Folkestone and Hythe and now coaches kids at Folkestone Cantera – and her two brothers and sisters both have their own endeavours.
Ellie trains four times a week at Ashford AC, where she competes in other events including the 300m hurdles and the high jump, but as Danny explained, putting in the hard graft is no new thing.
He said: “Ellie used to go to Maidstone six days a week to do gymnastics. She went to Slovenia and Belgium to do that and we were racking up the miles too with all her training.
“But, in the end, with all the impact work she was doing by the time she turned 19 she’d be limping.
“She took up pole vault and obviously her core strength from her gymnastics really helps her in that.
“I think we’re trying to make her the next Jessica Ennis with all the events she’s doing!
“The fact she’s now representing England shows all her hard work has paid off and we’re made up for her.”
Ellie is looking for any sponsors that might be able to help with the costs of travelling around the country.