ASHA Hickford has a need for speed.
It was only a few years ago that the 13-year-old White Gum Valley resident was juggling school with little athletics and football, but a desire to go faster saw her turn to inline speed skating 15 months ago.
And she hasn’t looked back since.
Selected to compete for WA in a national competition in January, Asha found herself on the podium in every single race she was in, winning eight gold and five silver medals.
Her performance led to her being named in the Australian team competing in the Oceania Inline Speed Skating Championships in April, where she won a gold, a silver and four bronze medals, placing in all but one of her races.
While proud of all her performances and her growing collection of 25 gold, 19 silver and 2 bronze medals, Asha said she was most happy with the gold medal she won wearing Australian colours.
“I am particularly proud of the gold as that was for winning the half marathon (21km) with a very good overall time,” she said.
Despite a busy year Asha is not quite ready to hang up the skates for a break and is busy training for the State Championships in September as well as next year’s Nationals and a chance to compete in the Korean Open.
Asha has been nominated for Community Newspaper Group’s Local Sports Stars competition in the Junior Sports Star-Individual category in recognition of her achievements and dedication.
Asha’s mother Michele Willson nominated her daughter, saying she was proud of her passion and dedication to the sport and her desire to match girls who have been skating for most of their lives.
“I feel extremely fortunate to be nominated for the Local Sports Stars award,” Asha said.
“Not only does it help me, but it helps the whole sport grow and get more publicity.
“This is particularly good timing as the next speed skating national competition will be held in Perth in January 2018.”
Name: Asha Hickford
SPORT: Inline Speed Skating
CATEGORY: Young Sporting Spirit-Individual
To nominate, visit www.localsportsstars.com.au