Brooksby Melton College will be making their National Championships debut in Tyne and Wear this year, thanks to the efforts of cross country runner Matt King.
The 20-year-old HNC Sport, Coaching, Development and Fitness student qualified for the Championships after a sixth-place finish in the East Midlands regional tournament, making history for his college in the process.
Despite not running consistently of late, Matt still became the first ever student from Brooksby Melton to qualify for the sporting showpiece to help make up a strong East Midlands team – and the youngster believes his achievement could be an important step in the development of sport at his college.
“As sport is growing as a department at Brooksby Melton College, I am proud to be representing us - it will be nice to try and put BMC on the map in cross country,” he said.
The cross country event at the National Championships is always a tightly-contested affair, with 88 athletes taking to the course, and King is playing it cool when it comes to his chances of bringing home a maiden gold medal for his college.
“I know the quality of the field will be much higher at the National Championships, I have set myself the target of finishing best out of the East Midlands region,” he added.
But the strength of the competition in Tyne and Wear is not proving daunting for King, who is determined to increase his preparations to achieve his goal.
“I have been doing a lot of extra training, as leading up the regional qualifiers I hadn't really trained for months,” he admitted.
“It has been nice to see the improvements in 5km times and I still have another few weeks to taper off high mileage and bring some intensity coming into the National Championships.”