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Rising Rowena has feet on the ground; ATHLETICS: Award-winning Coventry starlet knows more hard work is the key.

Byline: Nick Webster

COVENTRY'S Rowena Cole vowed to take things one step at a time after a hugely successful season was honoured with the 'On Camp with Kelly' Achievement Award.

Cole, who was presented her prize at the Aviva-supported Daily Telegraph School Sport Matters awards at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge, received the accolade off the back of her bronze medal-winning performance in the 800m at July's World Youth Championships.

And while Cole, who also claimed bronze at the England Under-20 Championships, was delighted to see her efforts rewarded, the 17-year-old insists her feet remain firmly on the ground as she bids to repeat the trick in 2010.

"It's a big honour for me to be given such an award. The whole OCWK experience has been fantastic for me and to be picked out with just a few other girls is a really special feeling," said the Tile Hill Wood School pupil.

"I know just how talented all the girls are in the camp, so just to be part of it feels like I've won an award. To be honoured on top of that is extra special.

"My aim for the year was to wear the GB vest, that was what I'd set out to do. Obviously it turned out to be an incredible year with a bronze at the World Youths but I was honestly just aiming to get into the team.

"It has given me confi-dence, but I still think the best way to go is just to take it step by step and take every competition as it comes. If I take it easy because I've won a bronze medal then I'll quickly be overtaken by other people."

The Coventry Godiva athlete's week then got even better as she joined 45 youngsters in Birmingham for a cookery masterclass with celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott, as part of the OCWK initiative.

The day-long get-together was designed to teach athletes and young people attending university about the importance of good nutrition for physical and mental performance.

"I've got a really busy year next year - as well as the athletics and the World Juniors in Canada I've also got my A-Levels to do," said Cole, who is planning to do a degree in Sports Marketing at Coventry University next year.

"The World Juniors will be another big step.

"I think I've got the qualifying time already so I just need to time my season to make sure I peak at the right time. I want to get in as much major competition experience as I can. Last year's was a great experience but I know the key now is lots of hard work."

Aviva have been supporting On Camp with Kelly since 2004, providing the next generation of middle distance runners with the unique opportunity to be better prepared to reach their sporting goals. Find out more at aviva.co.uk/athletics.

CAPTION(S):

AWARD... Rowena Cole poses with Dame Kelly Holmes and coach Norma Pugh after receiving her On Camp with Kelly award and (inset) in the kitchen with Dame Kelly and celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Oct 14, 2009
Words:514
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