Henley ace targets 2022 Winter Olympics

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Niall Treacy.

SPEED SKATING

BREAKING a British record was the moment it all clicked for Henley-in-Arden’s Niall Treacy – winning short track speed skating titles is exactly what he desires.

With brother Farrell taking to the ice as part of the last Olympic Games, 18-year-old Treacy, pictured below, doesn’t have to look too far for inspiration.

But having emphatically skated out of sibling shadows to take his own honours across the past 18 months, the talented teen is eyeing up his own Olympic appearance at Beijing 2022.

“Speed skating isn’t a typical sport to get into at all, but my brothers got into it and once I started when I was eight I couldn’t stop,” said the former Alcester Grammar School student.

“I got selected to represent the senior team at the World Cups – I made my debut in Calgary earlier this year and that was a massive experience for me.

“That was one of my biggest achievements, but I also went to Montreal for the Junior World Championships and came eighth in that in the 500m and broke the British record which was a really big achievement.

“It made me realise I knew what I was doing and that was what I wanted – I’ve done a full year of training now and am just about to go into the next season.

“I can’t wait for it, want to make the same progress and just keep going.

“I’m hoping to make an individual appearance at the European Championships as I was reserve skater for the last one.

“In the World Junior Championships I want to do even better than last time and just keep on improving.

“Hopefully I can come out with even better results.

“The overall goal is 2022 and the Beijing Winter Olympic Games – hopefully I can go there as a 21 year–old, get a bit of experience and then make sure in the next Games after that I can look to medal.”

Treacy was speaking at a SportsAid workshop being hosted in partnership with GVC – the multi-national sports betting and gaming group – at the Lee Valley VeloPark in London.

GVC are supporting 50 athletes across 33 sports, with each one receiving a financial award and personal development opportunities through SportsAid, including support around nutrition, mentoring and media training.

Olympian Leon Taylor and Paralympian Millie Knight, who are both SportsAid alumni, were also on hand at the workshop to share their experiences of elite level sport.

And Taylor, who delivered a mentoring session, said: “I’ve been involved with SportsAid for many years as an ambassador and it started when I received a SportsAid award as a young athlete.

“I really know how much of a difference getting that recognition can make.

“I’m supporting the cause now as a retired athlete because I know what the journey is like.”

  • GVC are proud to be championing the next generation of British sporting heroes by providing young athletes with financial support and development opportunities in partnership with SportsAid. Head over to gvc-plc.com for more details.