Norfolk athlete on camp with Kelly

The Beijing Olympics came early for Reepham's Rachel Stringer last week when she was put through through her paces at Dame Kelly Holmes' elite training camp.

The Beijing Olympics came early for Reepham's Rachel Stringer last week when she was put through through her paces at Dame Kelly Holmes' elite training camp.

The 17-year-old Fakenham College student received Chinese lessons and had to survive on a diet of rice and noodles at the nine-day get-together - but she could be experiencing that for real next year.

Double Olympic gold medallist Holmes will be cherry picking a handful of girls from her 'On Camp with Kelly' initiative for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to witness their heroes in action and sample life at a major Championships at the 2008 Games. And Stringer staked her claim for a seat on the plane after impressing former army sergeant Holmes at the camp at Loughborough.

She said: "Rachel has done really well and I have been very impressed by her attitude and her willingness to get involved with everything. She is a lovely girl and deals with everything that is thrown at her. She is slightly younger than the others but she does not allow anything to get to her.

"We tried to teach her what it takes to be a world-class athlete - the good and bad aspects - and every aspect of preparing for a major event."

Stringer has been in brilliant form this year, winning gold at the English Indoor Championships in the under-20 800m. And the City of Norwich runner hopes to follow up that success by representing Britain in the World Youth Championships later this year. She said: "I loved every minute of the camp. It is really fun not knowing what to expect and we have had a few things thrown our way."

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Norwich Union is working with Kelly Holmes to prepare future champions through her successful mentoring scheme, 'On Camp with Kelly.'