Budding athlete meets GB star

Stephanie Oakes with Maz Okoro
Stephanie Oakes with Maz Okoro

A BUDDING athlete from Worksop has been inspired by an encounter with top international sport stars in London.

Stephanie Oakes, who was recently selected for the McCain Home Grown Talent scheme, headed down to the Crystal Palace Grand Prix to watch elite level athletes battle it out.

The 13-year-old even got to meet Great Britain star Marilyn Okoro.

Stephanie finished first amongst all girls at the Mansfield Half Marathon and Fun Run, and was adjudged to have shown exceptional promise for running.

As part of her prize, the lucky winner had the opportunity to witness an evening of fierce competition and world class athletics at the Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace on 5th August, as well as having the chance to meet 800m runner Okoro.

McCain ambassador Okoro expressed her hopes that the Worksop teen would be spurred on by the experience: “It was great to meet Stephanie following her performance in Mansfield,” she said.

“It is always really nice to see youngsters dedicated to athletics and I hope that the chance to see competition on an international level will have given her even more passion to continue.”

The awestruck youngster enjoyed every minute of her time in London.

She said: “It was a really good experience and very inspiring. My favourite part was watching Mo Farah’s race.”

“The atmosphere was amazing, everyone was cheering him on and we were glad when he won.”

“It was great to meet Marilyn and very inspiring, she has a good personality away from athletics and it was nice to see she is a normal person.”

Bill Bartlett, corporate affairs director of McCain Foods, added that he hoped their support would be a boost to the Worksop girl’s continued participation in athletics.

“As principal partner of UK Athletics we are committed to getting more people more active more often.”

“It’s great to be able to give youngsters like Stephanie the opportunity to see the athletes they admire competing in the sport. We hope that by being part of the Home Grown Talent scheme, Stephanie will be inspired to pursue athletics onto the next level.”