Free from injury and named as part of a prestigious sporting partnership, Tring modern pentathlete Alexandra Bousfield insists she is finally ready to kick-start her 2017 into action.
Picked out as a potential star of the future, 15-year-old Bousfield is one of 50 athletes chosen to receive financial assistance and mentoring from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) in partnership with SportsAid.
The news of her inclusion couldn’t have come at a better time with the Berkamstead School pupil beginning 2017 on the side-lines due to injury.
That setback halted her progress with Bousfield winning the under-17 girls category at the British Modern Pentathlon Championships.
She has already been named as one of six females to head to Barcelona in April for the Under-19 European Cup, and Bousfield admits she has even grander plans.
“This year I had a rocky start with an injury, but now I’m coming back from that and I’m part of the Under-19 and qualified for the European Cup in Barcelona,” said Bousfield, who trains at Dacorum Modern Pentathlon Club.
“The injury was really frustrating, it came at the beginning of the year which was a blow as I wanted to start it on the front foot.
“It toughens you as a person though, it took me out for about ten weeks which isn’t too long but a significant amount of time, hopefully not too much of an impact for the season though.
“I’m hoping to go to the selections for the Youth Olympics in the summer and also the U17 and U19 Europeans, and I’m keen to take part in both.
“The grant that I was given helps me with my equipment, and doing five sports means I need quite a lot of that.
“I’m also part of the buddy system at the Royal Bank of Canada, so I get a lot of support from those guys and being in contact with people outside of the sport world we’re used to is very interesting.
“They cheer us on, we update them on our progress and it works really well.”
Bousfield’s cause will be now helped by the support she will receive from RBC and SportsAid with an annual £1,000 award contributing to costs such as travel, accommodation and equipment.
This year’s RBC athletes stretch across 31 disabled and non-disabled disciplines with the individuals having been nominated to SportsAid by their sport’s national governing bodies.
And after beginning her sporting career as a swimmer, Bousfield is eager to see what the future holds.
“My favourite sport used to be swimming as I came from that background, but I’ve really improved my running and my fencing has come on a lot, and there is quite a lot of pressure to keep improving in all of them,” she added.
“To be part of the Youth Olympics and represent Great Britain would be incredible. To be able to go to everyone would be so great and SportsAid and RBC would have been a major factor in that and helped me a long way.”
Royal Bank of Canada, one of the largest banks in the world and Canada’s largest bank by market capitalization, partners with SportsAid to provide financial support, ongoing mentoring and deserved recognition to 50 young talented British athletes looking to fulfil their sporting ambitions. For more information, please visit http://www.rbc.com/.