Deopham and Eaton’s Megan Mann preparing for US Kids golf challenge in Scotland

It is not everyday that the small Norfolk village of Deopham is represented on the European sporting stage – but that will be precisely the case when local golf starlet Megan Mann takes part in the US Kids European Championship in East Lothian in May.

The 10-year-old, a member of Eaton Golf Club, is one of just 500 hopefuls, aged between five and 18 from across the continent, who have earned the right to compete at the Championship on June 3.

It is played out over three days on five historic courses in the famous golfing county.

This will be the fourth time Mann has participated in the competition, and having finished in the top 10 in her category in each of her previous visits, the Morley Primary School pupil will be hoping to extend her fine record as she plays three consecutive 18-hole rounds for the first time.

The youngster's mum, Vanessa, believes that this past experience will help Megan cope with the tension of performing at such a high level.

'I am amazed each year at how well she copes with the pressure of the big occasion,' she said.

'I'm her caddie but she manages to deal with it all better than me. I am immensely proud of her and hope she achieves everything she wants to in Scotland.'

Most Read

The Championship has been running since 2008, with the intention of 'providing opportunities for children across the world to learn and play golf'.

The holes on each of the five courses – Gullane No.2, Gullane No.3, Craigielaw Golf Club, Luffness New Golf Club and Longniddry this year – are adapted for each age group so to achieve the same level of difficulty across the field.

Vanessa thinks that will result in a bigger challenge this time around for Megan, but is confident that she will come out the other end having benefited from the experience.

She added: 'It will be really tough for her, but as with previous years, playing in such a prestigious event means she will learn a huge amount which I'm sure she can take back with her.

'She will get all the help she can from her coach Philip Pearson which means she'll have a good chance of doing well.'

Megan took up the sport at the age of just five, following in her brother's footsteps. Both siblings are keen swimmers as well, but it's golf that harbours the family's main interests.

Vanessa is keen to encourage her daughter, but wants her to keep her feet on the ground in the process.

'Coming from a sporting background ourselves, we knew it would take a lot of time, patience and encouragement to help Megan pursue golf at a reasonable level,' she said.

'It is a real balancing act between training, competition and remembering she's still a kid.'

Success in the Championship offers the chance to take part in the World event, a privilege that Megan had when she travelled halfway across the globe to compete in Pinehurst, North Carolina back in 2008.

Megan added: 'I'd like to play professionally in the future, but when the weather is nice it's great to just play golf with my friends.

'I'm very excited about the tournament, but a bit nervous too.'