Iona Lake presented with £1,000 by Broadland council
- Credit: Nick Butcher
An athlete who is competing in the Australian Commonwealth Games next month has received a £1,000 grant from the council.
Iona Lake met council chairman David Ward at Thorpe Lodge on Monday, March 12 for a formal announcement of Broadland District Council's Sports Champions of 2018.
The 25-year-old steeplechase runner received the largest grant, however smaller grants of £125 will be given to 13 other sportspeople in the district, from disciplines including karate, rowing, wheelchair tennis and skiing.
She said: 'It's amazing getting this money, and such a shock.'
Miss Lake, from Hainford, represented Great Britain at the European Under-23 Championships in Estonia in 2015, and won the 3,000-metre women's steeplechase at the World Championship Team Trials in Birmingham last year.
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She said: 'At the moment getting by is hard because I work for my family business, which I'm enjoying, but I actually never know what's going to happen.
'It's quite hard to work alongside athletics because you don't know what you're going to qualify for.'
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Miss Lake has been running seriously since the age of 15.
She said: 'I started steeplechasing mainly because I always performed much better at cross country, and I think with the 5K I couldn't focus enough.
'I would lose concentration and I just didn't enjoy it as much, so my coach said try steeplechasing, as it gives you something else to focus on with the barriers. It's an endurance event but it's a bit more interesting.
'In the summer I will go the qualifier for the Europeans. The European qualifying time is 9m42s and last season I raced 9m39s. If I can race the way I think I can I will actually be able to qualify.'
Miss Lake is part of the Norfolk Sports Academy, which means she gets free access to sports facilities, as well as receiving £500 a year in instalments.
However her biggest aim is to attend the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Miss Lake said: 'Usually the Olympic qualifying standard range is between 9m40s and 9m45s so I'm in range and I feel like there's a lot more in me if I can just keep resistant and not get injured.
'It's kind of an athlete's dream and then it gets closer and closer and you think, maybe I could.
'Maybe it is realistic.'