Rebecca Secures Gold For England!
Year 11 student Rebecca Flaherty became the first female student in Bradford Grammar School’s history to don an England vest for cross country – and won a gold medal in the process.
Rebecca won gold in the inter boys and inter girls 4 x 1500m relay race in the Home Countries’ International Cross Country race at Pembrey Country Park, in Wales.
“It was amazing to be selected for England so I was overjoyed when I won gold as well. When you start running when you’re younger this is the dream you have – to one day run for England. It’s been my goal for seven years, so in many ways it was surreal that it was happening. I really enjoyed it.”
The competition saw entrants from Wales, Ireland, England and Scotland. Rebecca, who runs with Bingley Harriers, has made many friends in the running world having competed regularly over the last few years.
England Inter Relay team
“I’ve raced against them so many times but we’re all friends. We run because we enjoy it. We all do the training and put the effort in but if we took it too seriously it would take away from the enjoyment of it.”
Like many of BGS’s athletes, Rebecca enjoys the support the school offers to runners.
“The support is really good,” she said. “We’re lucky to have a running group which goes out at lunchtimes, and we have a good team atmosphere so quite a lot of us came to the finals in Kent (which determined England selection). It takes some of the pressure off having friends there.”
As for future ambitions, Rebecca is happy to simply keep on running.
“I’ll keep enjoying it and see what happens.
“Hopefully it will entail running more international races.”
Simon Hinchliffe, headmaster at BGS, said:
“We were incredibly proud of Rebecca simply being selected for England. It reflected all her talent and her hard work training, particularly through the wet winter months. To win gold was absolutely fantastic and we can’t wait to see what she and her thriving BGS cross country teammates achieve over the next few months.”