Scottish teenager Emma Canning will land her first GB and NI athletic vest at a Combined Events international later this month.
And it is a great moment for Whitemoss Amateur Athletics Club with the young star the first still training with the club to land such an honour.
The 17-year-old has been selected by British Athletics at U20 level for the fixture in France on the weekend of January 24 and 25 as she looks to follow in the footsteps of Olympic champion Jessica Ennis.
It is a great achievement for Canning, who returned from Sheffield at the weekend after collecting a bronze medal in the England Athletics Indoor CE champs with a points PB in the pentathlon.
Emma is a member of the scottishathletics Youth Academy and follows cross country runner Euan Gillham of Kilbarchan AAC in that regard in being selected for GB.
She will actually miss a gathering of the Youth Academy that particular weekend – but it could not be for a better reason as she competes with the best Combined Event young athletes in Britain, France and Spain in what will be a brilliant learning curve for the Scot.
scottishathletics have congratulated Emma, her family, coach Iain McEwan and those at Whitemoss AAC who have been involved in the development of a hard-working young athlete – and it seems the teenager is a ‘path-finder’ at her local club.
Coach Iain McEwan said: ‘Emma was with Kirkintilloch and came to me at Whitemoss about four years ago – since then she has focused on Combined Events.
‘The GB U20 selection was something we had ‘on the radar’ for this year as a possibility and we are delighted it has happened. Emma won a bronze in Sheffield last weekend at the England Athletics Indoor Champs at U20 and came back up the road with fingers cross for the bonus of the GB selection.
‘Whitemoss AAC is a small club and while we have had people like Allan Scott compete at a very high level in the past with a club connection, this is the first time someone who is still training with us has made a GB international selection.
‘So that is great for everyone at Whitemoss and hopefully will be an inspiration to others who see how hard-working and committed she is.
‘Long jump and hurdles are probably her best events at the moment but she is a good all-rounder which, of course, is what you need in CE. We’re working with Alison Gray (another coach) on Emma’s shot putt technique and hopefully there are more pentathlon points to be had there.
‘I think the trip to France will be brilliant for her – competing against some of the best young Combined Event athletes in Europe. It is great opportunity and should be a good experience. She deserves it after a lot of hard work and I’m delighted as her coach.’
Emma trains regularly at the John Wright Sports Centre in East Kilbride as she works to hone and improve the various disciplines required just as GB golden girl Ennis once did as a youngster in Sheffield.
A 20-strong GB and NI team will compete in the Combined Events International Indoor Match at the senior event in Apeldoorn in Holland and the U23 and U20 competitions in Nogent-sur-Oise, France, over that weekend.
Double IAAF World Junior Champion Morgan Lake will lead the British team in France where the U23 and U20 events will take place against athletes from France and Spain.