Callum Wilkinson hopes that becoming part of the British Athletics Futures Programme can help him to one day win medals on the big stage.
The Moulton-based race walker is one of 34 youngsters selected for the scheme, which offers backing to promising youngsters who could well become stars of the future.
Those involved in the scheme receive financial assistance from British Athletics, as well as medical support and further advantages from the scheme which will run from December until November next year.
“It’s great to be able to have the support of British Athletics,” the former King Edward VI Upper School sixth form pupil said. “It’s nice to see you are being recognised.”
After completing his season with victory at the 89th Enfield Open Seven race, Wilkinson is refusing to rest on his laurels and insists the hard work begins now.
“I would really like to be competing and winning medals on the biggest stages, so the Olympics is my target,” he said.
“But a realistic target right now is next year’s World Junior Championships.
“But that means the hard work starts now.
“I have to keep on working and training hard to make sure I’m in the best position next year.”
That also means making those sacrifices while the rest of us are tucking into turkey and all the trimmings over Christmas.
The teenager added: “If you want to succeed you have to make sacrifices.
“I’ll have to ask myself ‘are my rivals taking breaks?’ And they’re probably not.
“That means continuing to work hard.”