From sporty 10-year-old to March’s Olympian: Louise Hazel set to realise London 2012 dream

SIXTEEN years ago an inquisitive 10-year-old girl named Louise Hazel chanced upon some sportsmen training near her home in March.

“She went to see what they were doing,” recalls her proud mum, Ann. “And since that day she’s never looked back.”

Next week, Commonwealth heptathlon champion Hazel will represent TeamGB in her first Olympic Games - London 2012.

Every jump, throw and sprint will be watched by Ann, who has followed her daughter’s achievements since she was a youngster at Westwood Primary School and, later, Neale-Wade Community College.

Ann, who runs The Station Hotel, in March, said: “When Louise got in the squad she was elated. She was beside herself with happiness.

“That was her dream when she first started athletics as a 10-year-old and she achieved it. Not many people get to do that.

“It’s all been from her own efforts. She’s a determined little mare!”

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Hazel became the first person to be granted the freedom of March after she won Commonwealth gold in Delhi, 2010.

She spent this week training with the TeamGB track and field squad at their holding camp in Portugal.

Her family are preparing to set up camp in the Olympic Stadium for the women’s heptathlon, which starts next Friday.

“The atmosphere will be amazing,” said Ann.

“We went to Germany for the World Championship and it was electric. London will just be above and beyond anything else.

“Louise’s old school friends are planning to watch it here at the hotel. We’ve got a 3D television ready for all the coverage.

“I get really nervous and anxious watching but all the family are looking forward to it. Louise’s 80-year-old grandmother is so excited she’s been acting like a 50-year-old!”