Local modern pentathlete, Freyja Prentice, made a fleeting visit north last week with the dual purpose of picking up a brand new car and visiting her old primary school at Chapel of Garioch.
The Herald caught up with her just as she was taking delivery of sponsored midnight blue Mini Cooper, courtesy of John Clarke, Tayside, which made her “very happy”.
She said ”I’ve never wanted to drive a car as much as I’ve wanted to drive this one, it drives brilliantly.”
Ranked 4th junior and 15th overall in the world, the athlete spoke about her old school which sports a popular running club.
She explained: “You forget what it’s like but it brings back a lot of memories. My mum and best friend started the The Chapel Cheetahs because I was really keen on running”.
Developing the mix of skills required of a pentathlete, she said: “I’ve ridden since I was very young and joined the Pony Club when I was about 11.
“I did Pony Club Tetrathlon which involved running, swimming shooting and riding and started pentathlon at 14 after taking part in a taster day locally.
“There were no clubs in Scotland at the time. Now we have the Scottish Saltires.”
The 21-year-old had always wanted to do sport when she was older: “I saw people doing well and realised that I could beat them if I trained and that drove me on.
“I got on a funding programme, and to stay in the funding I had to go to the High Performance Centre in Bath, that’s why I chose to do a Biology degree there.”
Freyja trains between 30-35 every week in between studies. Her main focus is for 2012, for which she hopes to be selected. To-date far she is the only British girl to have reached the qualifying standard.
She said: “There will at the World Championships in early summer next year, so the pressure is still on.”
Aberdonian pentathlete Kerry Prise is also studying at Bath.
Freyja said: “Kerry is in the juniors and trains with me every day, she’s very, very talented and one to watch in the future.”
Having achieved so much, Freyja wanted to thank those that had contributed to her success.
She concluded: “I’d like to thank my coaches, Ivan Anderson and Grant Smith, Bert McIntosh and Grampian Institute of Sport, the Watson family, John Clark Tayside who have sponsored with a new mini, and all my family and friends.
“I couldn’t have got to where I am without my family and friends, so a massive thank you to all of them.”