Thornton netball player Katie Weller to take on Europe's best with Scotland team

Katie Weller with mum Vicky and Jack Hollowell of D Hollowell and Sons Funeral Directors
Katie Weller with mum Vicky and Jack Hollowell of D Hollowell and Sons Funeral Directors

Thornton schoolgirl Katie Weller is taking aim for the European Championships after winning a place in the Scotland netball squad.

The St Aidan’s Church of England High School pupil has earned a place in the national under-17 squad, even though she is only 14.

Katie, who plays for Wyre Netball Club, was successful at trials in Glasgow last month and has earned a place in the 22-strong squad.

The squad will assemble fortnightly to train and play as they build towards the European Championships in Wales next year.

Sporting success runs in Katie’s family: her mum Vicky was a middle-distance athlete for Scotland and Great Britain, while dad Jason played for Fleetwood Town.

Jason told The Gazette: “Katie is really interested in becoming a professional sportsperson and we’re so proud of what she has achieved.

“She is the first player from her club to gain international recognition.

“We went to Glasgow for the first training camp this weekend and these continue all over Scotland throughout the season.”

Having family in Scotland does help to reduce the costs but Katie and her parents are most grateful for the support of D Hollowell and Sons Funeral Directors

The company’s client manager Mike Hartley said: “We are delighted and extremely proud to sponsor Katie as she embarks on a tough journey towards international recognition in netball. To be selected for Scotland Under-17s is a fantastic achievement and one she and her family should be very proud of.

“The Hollowell family have a strong affiliation with local sport as a sponsor of Fylde RFC, Poulton Football Club and local athlete Melanie Koth, who is representing Great Britain in the ETU Multisport European Championships in Romania this year.

“We are reaching out across the Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde communities to support individuals and organisations in order to provide better facilities and equipment for local people”.

Wyre Netball Club's head coach Abby Pridmore said: "Katie's selection is fantastic news and rounds off two tremendous years of success for our club."