Olympics relay role for rising star Rhona

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SPORTS mad Rhona Grant will be the pride of the south-east on July 2 when she carries the Olympic Torch at Dingley, writes James Heneghan.

The 12-year-old from Stoke Bruerne was successfully nominated by her school, Northampton School for Girls, due to her success at racing both on foot and on two wheels.

Talking about her big day, she said: “I’m very excited for it, it’s a big honour for me to carry the torch.

“I’m looking forward to just holding it after all the amazing athletes who have done it before me, I’m so excited.

“I’m really nervous, I’m not sure if I should walk or run and I don’t want it to go out!”

Rhona is the youngest ever female member of the A5 Rangers Cycling Club and has won British Cycling’s Central Cyclo-cross League in both U12 and U14 categories.

She also runs for the county and is the former Northampton Town cross country champion.

Mum Jane added: “I’m very proud of her, I was delighted when she was nominated.

“We had all our fingers crossed because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“We first realised just how good she was four years ago when she ran with me at Race for Life and I couldn’t keep up with her. Before I knew it she was out of sight.”

The young star found out that she would be carrying the torch in March.

Rhona said: “I’m really looking forward to the Olympics, especially with it being in London.

“I really like Dame Kelly Holmes because I met her once at one of my competitions. I also like Usain Bolt and Paula Radcliffe.

“I love watching the running and the horse riding with my mum when the Olympics are on.”

Rhona first started competing as an eight-year-old and straight away her mum noticed her natural talent for sport.

She added:”She runs, she cycles, she’s done the triathlon and has won various competitions.

“She has a natural ability with sport – she’s started basketball recently, too.”