Up-and-coming archer Jacob Boden is to travel to Slovenia next month to compete for Great Britain at the European Youth Cup.
After training with the French team last Easter, Jacob has represented England twice at the national junior competitions, indoors and out, and has been reserve for the Euro Nations team.
“I feel ready to take the next step and represent GB,” he said.
The former St George’s Academy pupil took a few months out last summer, making himself unavailable to concentrate on his GCSEs.
But in September he received an award from the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) by Sports Aid which has allowed him to access specialists based at Nottingham Trent University.
“It has been very beneficial to work with these guys,” Jacob added.
“I have been able to work on a specialist strength and conditioning programme, look at my nutrition and get help with my sports psychology.
“It has been challenging to fit everything in, but so far it has been worth it.”
Jacob is now studying for four A-levels at Lincoln University Technical College who have allowed him time away in the middle of his mock exams for the trip to Slovenia on May 11.
“This will be a hard year as I’ve now moved up into juniors and have to shoot 70m.
“The WRS ruling states an archer can shoot as a cadet at 60m up until the end of the year that they turn 17, and as my birthday is in December, I can’t use this to my advantage. If only I’d turned 17 in January!”
With less than a month to go to his international team debut, he is trying to get in as much practice as possible.
“This is proving a challenge as it isn’t always possible to get to an archery club, or they don’t meet on the days he needs to train,” said his mum Rowena.
“It would be great to have a local farmer offer an edge of their field where a target could be left up and then Jacob can train, fitting in with his college timetable.”
Jacob needs two more scores under his belt to be invited to selection shoots for the second stage of the European Youth Cup, in Bucharest, Romania, and the Youth World Championships in Madrid, Spain.
The trips are self-funded, with overseas trips costing in the region of £1,500.
“If any company feels they could sponsor me that would be really appreciated,” Jacob said.
“Any amount would be gratefully received as now I’m going abroad I need two sets of everything, and with the extra training at Lilleshall, costs are rising very quickly.”