Francesca Summers

18/09/17 9:16pm

Francesca Summers has big ambitions in and out of her arena
Image: Francesca Summers has big ambitions in and out of her arena

Francesca Summers is determined to inspire the next generation of sport stars, as well as get her hands on more silverware in the fascinating sport of modern pentathlon.

The 21-year-old from Dorking has already tasted lots of success having shone as a teenager, winning five medals from her U17 and U19 major championships.

"I have had an incredible amount of physical and mental challenges throughout my sporting career," Summers said.

"I have however been able to use them to develop and strengthen as an athlete and I would like to pass on these experiences to other athletes I meet as a Sky Sports Scholar.

"I would also like to utilise these in my quest to represent GB at the next Olympics in Tokyo. Because of our country's history in the sport - we won gold and bronze in Sydney in 2000 Olympics, bronze at Athens 2004, silver in Beijing 2008 and silver in London 2012 - it is never good enough just to go to an Olympics.

"The planning, preparation and expectation is to make the podium. This comes with huge pressure but this is high performance sport where you are up against the best in the world.

TOP FACTS

1) Born: 13 Feb 1996, Dorking
2) Youth Olympics silver medallist in 2014
3) Competed in senior World Cup in USA in 2017

"To represent your country is one of the greatest feelings and it's a great honour. To represent Team GB at the Youth Olympics in China in 2014 was really special. To win silver was just fantastic.

"In my first year at the U21 World Championships aged 19 in 2015 in Mexico City, to be crowned world champion was a big surprise and an unbelievable moment. When the national anthem faded and the reality sunk in that I was world champion seemed so surreal."

Summers has been getting used to the podium since she started the sport that involves five events - fencing, 200m freestyle swimming, show jumping and a final combined event of pistol shooting and a 3,200m cross-country run.

She also made her World Cup debut in March 2015 and competed for GB at the 2015 European Championship in Bath.

"Getting a place on the Sky Scholarship program will give me an opportunity to further my learning and understanding of sport in a totally different dimension, which I am looking forward to exploring," Summers added.

"The opportunity will also allow me to meet with new people who view sport in a completely different way than I do as a competitor and also to meet a variety of athletes who excel in different sports.

"In sport we are always looking for an edge to get ahead and Sky's support is a very welcomed advantage to me over my competitors and I am extremely blessed to have this support."

"Being acknowledged in this way by Sky, being held up as a potential future Olympian and helped and supported by Sky is a big confidence booster. As an international athlete I have had an incredible journey so far, I have experienced and learned so much and I've grown as a sports person and as an individual.

"During the next four years I am hoping to be able to utilise many of my experiences as an athlete within my role as a Scholar.

"The power of female sporting role models has already played a very important part in my sporting success. If I can repay some of what has been given to me by becoming a role model to the next generation of sports stars nothing would please me more."