Sanders hots up

Sky Sports Scholar looks forward to a warmer forecast

Last Updated: 02/11/11 5:36pm

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Nicola Sanders expects her 400m running to really hot up thanks to the Sky Sports Scholarship Scheme.

The 29-year-old is one of 11 athletes to been awarded financial backing to further their careers as part of a groundbreaking scheme to help them fulfil their potential.

Sanders may be best remembered for hurdling but has had to revert to the flat due to injury.

"It's very important for me to go warm-weather training. I've had a history of injuries and they're always better when I go to hot countries, so I can extend my periods away and also go more often."
Nicola Sanders Quotes of the week

And it is keeping those injuries at bay where the Scholarship Scheme will come into its own.

"Obviously I train full-time so it's nice not to have that financial burden," she told Sky Sports News HD.

"There are also other things Sky are going to help with - mainly going away for warm-weather camps.

"It's very important for me to go warm-weather training. I've had a history of injuries and they're always better when I go to hot countries, so I can extend my periods away and also go more often."

Sanders has been a familiar face on the British athletics circuit for the past decade or so, having claimed bronze at the 1999 European Athletics Junior Championships and gold at the World Youth Championships the following year.

While many expected her to kick on and become a major force on the world stage, her success was limited to team events for Great Britain, not over the hurdles, but as part of Great Britain's 4x400m relay team.

And it was only after the disappointment of the 2006 Commonwealth Games, when she failed to make the podium, that it became clear she needed a change in tact.

Frustrated

"I started hurdling, the 400, when I was about 17 but I kind of fell into it because I'd come from the sprint hurdles - and I was quite good," she said.

"But I started getting hamstring and back problems and stopped after the 2006 Commonwealth Games. I finished fourth and I was devastated. I should've run faster.

"I remember saying to my mum afterwards, my speed was OK but the hurdles kept getting in the way. I was really frustrated with it.

"My back problems weren't allowing me to progress very far and we decided, initially just for a year, to back to the flat just to get on top of the injury.

"Everyone still asks me if I'm going to go back to the hurdles though... No way!"

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