A North Somercotes schoolgirl is making great waves in the world of sailing and is hoping to continue her success onto national level.
Thirteen-year-old Sarah Gowler, who attends Birkbeck College in the village, has taken what started as a hobby onto the next level and is now representing the North of England in a development squad.
Sarah picked up the sport three years ago aged ten, and as part of summer Sailability projects she took disabled people out onto the water to experience the thrill.
Then Sarah decided to take her hobby further and is hoping to be successful at a national level.
“It is hard work but it doesn’t feel like it when I’m out there, I really enjoy it as its lots of fun,” said Sarah, who races at Covenham.
“Some of my friends do it too, it’s so exciting and I feel free when I’m out on the water.
“I am the helm on the boat which means I drive it, I also have a crew member who balances the boat.”
Sarah’s sailing success might not have happened however, if it wasn’t for a kind local family who recently stepped into help her.
Before a recent major race Sarah was without the right boat, luckily she managed to borrow one from the Tasker family.
“Without the Tasker family I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what I have so far, I’ve also had lots of support from everyone at my school,” Sarah added.
Sarah’s mum Tracey Carr said her daughter has got the potential to be successful at the sport.
“She’s picked up so much recently, it began as a hobby and she had no intention of taking if further,” she said.
“Now she could get picked for the nationals, who knows?”
School head at Birkbeck, Lynda Dobson, said the school were delighted and proud of Sarah’s achievements in sailing.
Do you have a local sports story you’d like to share with our readers? Call us on 01507 353200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.