Sommer jumping for joy

Sommer Lecky and head of PE at Strabane Academy, Niall McDonald. DR58

CASTLEDERG high jump sensation Sommer Lecky is still jumping for joy after recently learning of her selection for the Commonwealth Games. 

After striking gold at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas, the Strabane Academy pupil along with 12 other athletes from across the North have been selected for the trip to Australia’s Gold Coast in March. 

“I am very proud of getting to where I am, but I have to stay focused,” said Sommer.

“People often ask if my mind is all over the place after getting into the Commonwealth Games, but I have to view it as another competition. In sport, anything can happen.”

With past athletic achievements under her belt such as picking up Gold at the Commonwealth Youth Games and competing at the likes of the European Team Championships and Youth Olympic Festival, Sommer is set to impress in March. 

“Competing in the past has been mentally tough, but I feel I am ready for this latest challenge,” she said. “Taking part in the Youth Games in the Bahamas taught me how to cope with high temperatures and travelling to another country. I hope to give it my all, as that’s all I can do.”

At the tender age of 17, Sommer’s success on a world stage has been the result of extensive training over the past five years. 

“I began the high jump when I was second year in school,” she said. 

“Success as an athlete requires a vigorous training regime, early starts and constant work. I would like to thank the work of my coach Niall Wilkinson, whose help and guidance has been invaluable throughout my career. I would also like to thank my parents, family and the Castlederg community who have helped me achieve my best.”

In terms of the future, the resilient Castlederg teen is determined to continue giving athletics her all.

“Overall, to be competing among the world’s best athletes will be an unbelievable experience,” she said. “I hope to continue building my career and having fun in the process.” 

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