A young Bradley Stoke sportsman has received recognition at national level by being selected to represent Great Britain at the Inas European Cross Country Championships.
Adam Wilson, 17, of Cooks Close, was part of a six-man team chosen by the UK Sports Association (UKSA) to contest the all-age event for athletes with learning difficulties in Wakefield, Yorkshire at the end of February.
A member of Yate Athletics Club, Wilson competed in two separate races over the weekend of the championships, at distances of 4km and 6km.
A regular on the local athletics scene, his preparation for the event consisted of running between 20 and 28 miles a week, including training sessions with Westbury Harriers, track sessions at Yate and competing in local events such as the Little Stoke Park Run and the Aztec West Fast 5k. He also runs at least once a week around the nature reserve in Bradley Stoke.
In view of the all-age nature of the event, where he competed against much older runners, Wilson said he had harboured “no hopes of a medal position” but thought it was “great to get experience of international competition”.
Having recently finished fourth Avon runner in the South West Cross Country Championships, he is hoping to gain further top-level experience by being selected to represent Avon in the mainstream English Schools Cross Country Championships in Blackburn later this month.
A multi-talented sportsman, Adam has also gained international experience as a footballer, playing for the England under-23 learning disability team in a friendly against Northern Ireland last March and clinching a winner’s medal in a tri-nations tournament against Northern Ireland and Wales last September.
Adam’s success has it roots firmly anchored in the local junior sports scene, having first competed for Holy Trinity Church’s Cosmic United side at the age of four-and-a-half, before playing for Almondsbury Town Youth FC and Bradley Stoke United FC. At the age of 14 he transferred to Thornbury Town FC, where he currently plays for the mainstream U18 team in the Premier Division of the Bristol U18 Combination.
His running career began to take off after he gained a top six finishing position when representing Bowsland Green Primary School in a South Gloucestershire inter-school competition for Year 6 pupils. Shortly after that event, he was encouraged to join Bitton Road Runners where he trained one night a week for a while before moving to Yate AC as a Year 7 student.
Adam has specialised in the 800m and 1500m distances on the track, but also competes regularly in cross country over the winter. As well as competing in mainstream events, he has obtained a T20 classification for disability events, which has led to successes in the DSE Nationwide Junior Disability Championships and the Mencap National Championships.
Having previously attended The Castle School in Thornbury, Adam is now studying for a Level 3 BTEC in Business at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, where he is also a member of the Athletics Academy.
Photo: Adam Wilson pictured in team kit prior to making his Great Britain debut.
Photo: Adam Wilson celebrates with the England U23 football team.
This article originally appeared in the March 2015 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
Postscript #1: Adam finished 9th overall and 3rd GB athlete in both races, helping the GB team to silver medals in both races.
Postscript #2: Adam has been selected for the England LD football squad for a friendly away against Wales on 14th March 2015.
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