Promising Millfield Lower Sixth hurdler Lucy-Jane Matthews from Wiltshire is on course for Olympic selection after being selected to compete in her first national event as part of the senior England team in the 60m hurdles at the Élan Indoor Athletics Meeting in Bratislava at the end of January.
This call up follows Lucy’s selection as one of only 46 national athletes to take part in the British Athletics Olympic and Paralympic Futures Programme for 2020, which will prepare her for potential selection for this summer’s 2020 games in Tokyo and the Paris 2024 Olympics.
The seventeen-year-old joined Millfield in September 2019 on an Academic and Athletics (Headmaster’s) Scholarship and is studying for three A levels in Biology, Mathematics and Physical Education, as well as completing the extended project qualification (EPQ).
The British Athletics Olympic and Paralympic Futures Programme aims to confirm an athlete’s potential to transition onto the World Class Programme in the next Olympics cycle, as well as support those who have highlighted the potential to win medals at future Olympic Games. The programme runs until November 2020. Lucy will have the opportunity to attend a series of national and international camps, as well as have access to official British Athletics support staff, including specialists in Strength and Conditioning, Nutrition, Physiotherapy, Physiology and Psychology.
Millfield has helped support the development of 24 Olympians in its short history, with representation at every Olympic Games since 1956. Notable former pupils include swimmer Duncan Goodhew (Gold and Bronze, Moscow 1980), hockey player Stephen Batchelor (Bronze and Gold, LA 1984 and Séoul 1988) and athlete Mary Bignal-Rand (Gold, Silver and Bronze, Tokyo 1964). A number of former Millfield pupils are likely to receive call-ups for the upcoming 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo, with Millfield’s Director of Swimming Euan Dale already being named as a Team GB coach, supporting Great Britain’s swimming squad.
Lucy says, “I am really grateful to be selected for the Olympic futures programme and know it will be a wonderful development opportunity for myself; as having access to the facilities and specialists made available as part of the programme will be hugely beneficial. Coupled with my training environment and support at Millfield, I’m excited to see the progression I will make as a result of it.”
Millfield’s Director of Athletics, Alan Richardson, says, “Lucy’s selection to the futures programme is great reward for her hard work and success so far. Being part of the British Athletics programme adds additional support to that which she receives here at Millfield as her athletics career goes from strength to strength.”