A golden start to the year for BDA athlete

In the very first edition of Sixth Sense, we reported on the recent success of a special BDA athlete who had just received a Jack Petchey award in recognition of her achievements.

Since then Lia Stephenson has continued on her path to sporting stardom, winning her first international call up having jumped to glory at the Indoor National Championships a week ago.

The U20s triple jumper, competing with athletes two years her senior, smashed her personal best with a leap of 12.52m – the fifth best distance recorded in UK history by an athlete her age – while securing a silver medal at the championships in Sheffield. She also picked up the award for best performer at the event.

As a result Lia was selected to represent England in a Welsh U20 International held in Cardiff on May 8th and 9th. She went on to win the competition with yet another startling jump of 12.52m.

Lia is currently ranked first in London and second in the UK, and hopes to attend the World Junior Championships in Eugene as part of the Great Britain team in the summer. Her major target this year is to jump 13.20m.

Supported by Track Academy, she has also been involved in a groundbreaking new scheme that sees young athletes studying during breaks in competition, under the guidance of a specialist tutor.

Track Academy say: “This unique combination of study and high quality performance with a squad of athletes whilst at a National Championships has never been achieved before.”

Lia also secured first place at the South of England AA Indoor Championships in January and again at the London U20 and U23 Senior Games the same month. We can’t wait to hear more!