Talented athlete Lukas Bradshaw has been earmarked for future success by being accepted on the English and British Athletics Youth Talent Programme.
The Lower Sixth Former is one of only a few athletes across England selected for the first stage of the Performance Pathway for young athletes with the potential to represent Great Britain on the international stage.
He is following in the footsteps of athletes like heptathlete Niamh Emerson, an IAAF junior world silver medallist, 400m Olympian Matthew Hudson-Smith, World Youth 100m silver medallist Ojie Edoburun, and World Under 20 200m gold medallist Jona Efoloko.
Dan Wagner, Performance Pathway Manager for United Kingdom Athletics, said: “This is a fantastic achievement as only a focused number of athletes across England have been shortlisted and identified to be part of the programme, which is there to confirm and support long term GB and Commonwealth Games potential.”
The Youth Talent programme gives young athletes the opportunity to learn, train and develop the necessary skills to progress on to becoming a senior international, and is designed to complement students’ club training. Additional support includes one to one sessions with a nutritionist and a sports psychologist, and the programme results in a diploma worth 64 UCAS points,
Lukas, who will attend programme sessions alongside his sixth form studies, said: “I was very happy to see my hard work pay off. Seeing the calibre of athletes on the course, it is great to be surrounded by such similarly minded people. Obviously, the diploma with be hugely useful in searching for uni's. Even if athletics doesn't end up as a career, I will keep going as long as I am enjoying it.”
The sporting all-rounder represents the school in hockey, rugby and athletics, and was northern silver medallist in discus, and bronze in shot put and javelin. He has qualified for English Schools for the past three years in discus and this year also qualified for national octathlon – a combined event competition of eight different sports or contests. He is a member of City of York Athletics Club.
He said: “Sport is hugely important for me. I play as much rugby and hockey as I can, however athletics is my priority as I have enjoyed it since I started and thankfully have been performing relatively well at the same time. I'm not where I want to be yet but I think it will happen if I work at it.”
David Byas, Director of Sport, Pocklington School, said: “This opportunity is a great testament to the hard work and dedication that Lukas has put in in so many areas of school. His ability to manage his time, his desire to learn, improve and develop are great strengths that he has in an abundance.”
Lukas achieved eight grade 9 and two grade 8 GCSEs and is now studying Chemistry, Biology, German and Latin with a view to going on to a university where he will be able to continue with his sports. He is also an active member of the CCF.
He said: “I am not someone who likes having a lot of free time! I plan to work hard when it is needed but athletics isn't a ‘chore’ for me; I do sport because I enjoy it. Academics will always take precedence but this programme will help me both in an academic sense and also with technique.”