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Talented Wirral teenager closer to Olympic dream
A TALENTED Wirral teenager will take one step closer to her Olympic dream when she plays in a major international competition.
Laura Black, from Upton, is set to join the Great Britain women’s under-19s handball squad in Romania on March 29 to fight for a place in the European Championships later this year.
The 18-year-old, who works part-time at TJ Hughes in The Grange and Pyramids Shopping Centre, will take on the three-day tournament against her counterparts from the continent.
And Laura, who started playing the sport at just eight-years-old, is looking forward to competing with her teammates.
She said: “I loved watching the sport and started playing it right away. I was with the Wirral club for a while and then I became a member of Deva Handball Club based in Chester, which is a little larger.
“I now train with the Deva club for two hours once a week and have played for them regularly ever since.
“I now play at centre position and we have had quite a bit of success. We are currently in second place in the Women’s Development League.
“I have always loved all sport but what I really enjoy about handball is the very fast pace and being part of a team of seven out on the court. I’m looking forward to it very much but I’m also a bit scared because I know we will be coming up against some of the top players at the highest level of the sport.”
Apart from domestic handball competition, Laura has also had her share of success at international level, playing for the England Under-16s women’s team two years ago in the Partille Cup where they successfully took on club and national teams from across Europe in Sweden.
She has also played tournaments in Poland, Germany and Denmark and is now training hard for her latest international appearance for the Great Britain Under-19s in Romania from March 29-31.
And Laura is determined to fulfil her dream of playing handball for her country at the Olympics and is confident her hard work will pay off.
She was given a taste of the Games when she spent two weeks last summer as one of the volunteer Games Makers who helped turn London 2012 into such a success.
Laura added: “That was an experience I’ll never forget. I was just helping out with the kit and doing other small jobs behind the scenes for the Great Britain handball team but it was just brilliant and made me want to be part of it all even more.
“I was too young to be considered for the 2012 Games but, who knows, perhaps I will get the chance to make my dream come true in 2016 or 2020. Taking part in tournaments like the one in Romania is a step closer to that.
“I definitely want to eventually become a professional handball player but at the moment I am just concentrating on college and enjoying my sport.”