A Leicester teenager has achieved a silver medal in this year’s School Games National Finals – the UK’s biggest multi-sport event for talented young athletes between the ages of 13 to 18 years old.
Oliver Parker, 16, secured the silver medal in the 100 metre hurdles discipline of the competition, which were held last week at Loughborough University.
Over 1,000 budding sports stars turned out to compete at the event, which saw young athletes compete across 10 sports, including disability disciplines.
In his hurdling event, Oliver achieved a personal best time of 13.14. He said that he was “super excited” about his national achievement.
“It took a few days after the competition for me to stop wearing the medal around the house, after I made sure the family had seen it enough!” he joked.
“Honestly, leading up to the event I was thinking that I’d be extremely happy to get bronze, so to set a Personal Best and then get a Silver medal on top of that? Yeah, it feels super good.
“At most of my races and finals, I tend to see the same faces on the start line, and I know that all our best times are so close to each other that it all comes down to how you perform on the day,” he went on to reveal.
“No one is guaranteed to win or lose before they run, especially in an event like hurdles where so much can change in an instant.”
Oliver has been competing in his chosen event since 2018, beginning his sporting career at Open Meets and County Championships.
“To think that now I’m medalling at National Finals and Midland Counties Champs is crazy to me when I look back on it all to be honest, especially with the lockdown and restrictions, as hurdles isn’t an easy event to just train on a whim,” he revealed.
“You need a track and equipment, and when all the tracks are closed, I was forced to take my schools hurdles to the park instead, where sessions were commonly intruded on by dogs which were being taken on walks!”
As well as achieving a silver medal at the games, Oliver was also part of the winning 4x100m relay team, which took place later in the day.
“A silver and a gold is definitely not something to complain about at all!” he said of the feat.
For this season coming, he is aiming to transition over to the 400m Hurdles, already running a few races in this event at the end of this season.
To find out more about the School Games, which is now in its 15th year, visit: https://www.schoolgamesfinals.org/