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Alexandra Hooper to be a rose of Texas

Sport | Published:

Shropshire swimmer Alexandra Hooper is preparing to cross the pond in a bid to fast-track her Olympic Games dream after securing a scholarship at the University of Texas.

Shropshire swimmer Alexandra Hooper is preparing to cross the pond in a bid to fast-track her Olympic Games dream after securing a scholarship at the University of Texas.

The 18-year-old Thomas Telford School student underlined her potential by claiming gold at the European School Games in Athens in 2006.

Hooper added to her international medal haul with another gold at the European Junior Championships in Serbia two years ago.

And after earning a place at university in America next term, Hooper admits she's counting down the days until she crosses the Atlantic.

"It is going to be a great opportunity to swim out I America and I didn't think I had much of a chance," said the Telford-based Hooper.

"It's going to be hard work with about ten training sessions a week but I'm really excited.

"The men's team out there are the best in the country and the women are up there as well.

"It will be amazing going from travelling to Birmingham for training to working with Olympians and world class swimmers every day.

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"I'm missing out on the National Championships to go but I'm not that disappointed because I get to go to Texas."

Boost

Hooper's Olympic ambitions received a boost earlier this month when she was retained on the Lloyds TSB Local Heroes initiative and given a cash-injection of £1,000.

And after being one of just 270 budding Games hopefuls from across the UK picked out for the scheme, Hooper vowed to keeps some of the funding back to aid her switch to America.

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"It's really satisfying when you realise that someone appreciates you need help and it's great that they chose to keep me on," added Hooper.

"I have to drive to Birmingham for training and it costs a lot in petrol so it's nice to have the help.

"I've also bought a new suit which is important as they can be very expensive.

"Most importantly though I'm saving some of it for August when I start at the University of Texas for my swimming scholarship."

  • Lloyds TSB Local Heroes is an initiative in partnership with SportsAid providing support and funding to over 270 of Britain's most talented developing athletes on their journey to London 2012 and beyond. To find out more about Lloyds TSB Local Heroes visit www.lloydstsb.com/localheroes

By Ryan Bangs

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