Long Jumper Awarded Scholarship to Aid Glasgow 2014 Dream

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A student with her sights set on this summer’s Commonwealth Games has been awarded a scholarship from the University of Worcester.

Fiona Clarke, who is studying for a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Sport, Coaching and Physical Education, has been awarded the scholarship to aid her bid to obtain the qualifying distance for the para-sport long jump competition in Glasgow.

Fiona, who has cerebal palsy, needs to secure the qualifying distance before June 2 to make sure of her place on England’s track and field team; a number of para-sports have been contested as part of the Commonwealth Games programme since 2002.

She explains: “I have around six competitions between now and the Commonwealth Games selection cut-off date, and I am hoping to obtain the qualifying distance when competing in Switzerland at the end of May.

“The University Scholarship will fund the flight to Switzerland as well as assisting in the purchase of equipment for my event. It feels really good to know that the University is supporting me and will assist in any needs I may have.”

The athlete, originally from Birmingham, took up the event at the age of 14, and has previously represented Great Britain London’s Olympic Stadium. She has won a series of regional and national competitions, including the Sainsbury’s UK School Games at Sheffield’s Don Valley Stadium last year.

The 19 year-old Birchfield Harrier, who has also previously competed in sprint events, has a personal best of 3.83 metres. The current world record in her category (F38) is held by Lithuanian jumper Aldona Grigaliuniene, and stands at 4.49 metres.